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UMMA Brown Bag: "Cultural Transmission and Sources of Diversity: A Comparison of Temperate Maritime Foragers of the Northern and Southern Hemispheres"

Thursday, January 14, 2016
12:00 AM
2009 Ruthven Museums

This paper explores potential environmental, ecological, and social sources of cultural diversity. These first-order predictions provide a useful framework for the study of stark differences in technological sophistication between contemporaneous groups of maritime foragers living in very similar environments at opposite ends of the globe: the Unangan of Alaska’s Aleutian Islands and the Yámana of Tierra del Fuego. I hypothesize that ecological constraints on and/or cultural attitudes towards group size and connectivity, culturally mediated differences in fertility, and feedback between demographic variables and technological innovation led to more and less favorable conditions for cumulative cultural evolution among the Unangan and Yámana, respectively.

Raven Garvey