Pygmy hunter-gatherers in the Congo Basin in August 2014

A traditional hunter-gatherer or forager is a human living an ancestrally derived lifestyle in which most or all food is obtained by foraging,[1][2] that is, by gathering food from local sources, especially edible wild plants but also insects, fungi, honey, or anything safe to eat, and/or by hunting game (pursuing and/or trapping and killing wild animals, including catching fish), roughly as most animal omnivores do. Hunter-gatherer societies stand in contrast to the more sedentary agricultural societies, which rely mainly on cultivating crops and raising domesticated animals for food production, although the boundaries between the two ways of living are not completely distinct.

Hunting and gathering was humanity's original and most enduring successful competitive adaptation in the natural world, occupying at least 90 percent of human history.[3] Following the invention of agriculture, hunter-gatherers who did not change were displaced or conquered by farming or pastoralist groups in most parts of the world.[4]

Only a few contemporary societies of uncontacted people are still classified as hunter-gatherers, and many supplement their foraging activity with horticulture or pastoralism.[5][6]

  1. ^ Ember, Carol R. (June 2020). "Hunter-Gatherers (Foragers)". Retrieved 14 September 2022.
  2. ^ Wade, Nicholas (2006). Before the Dawn. London: The Penguin Press. ISBN 1594200793.
  3. ^ Richard B. Lee & Richard Daly, “Introduction: Foragers & Others,” in: The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Hunters & Gatherers (Cambridge University Press, 1999), ISBN 052157109X, pp. 1–20.
  4. ^ Stephens, Lucas; Fuller, Dorian; Boivin, Nicole; Rick, Torben; Gauthier, Nicolas; Kay, Andrea; Marwick, Ben; Armstrong, Chelsey Geralda; Barton, C. Michael (2019-08-30). "Archaeological assessment reveals Earth's early transformation through land use". Science. 365 (6456): 897–902. Bibcode:2019Sci...365..897S. doi:10.1126/science.aax1192. hdl:10150/634688. ISSN 0036-8075. PMID 31467217. S2CID 201674203.
  5. ^ Cite error: The named reference :0 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  6. ^ Greaves, Russell D.; et al. (2016). "Economic activities of twenty-first century foraging populations". Why Forage? Hunters and Gatherers in the Twenty-First Century. Santa Fe; Albuquerque: School for Advanced Research, University of New Mexico Press. pp. 241–62. ISBN 978-0826356963.

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