Hunter-gatherers make no distinction between work and play, neither should we
In our capitalistic culture, our worth as individuals is measured by how hard we work. From a young age, we learn our value is determined by our productivity.
The only time it is acceptable to not work is on Sundays or vacation. And even then, there’s very little rest and relaxation happening. By the time we finally unwind, it’s time to jump back into the rat race.
In a clip from the new documentary film Human, an aboriginal Australian man says his people never used words like “please” or “thank you” or “mine” until recently:
Jarawa are being forced into civilization and treated like animals in a zoo
Like the Hadza of East Africa, the Jarawa hunter-gatherers of the Andaman Islands also face extinction, thanks to the ever-expanding nature of agriculture and civilization.
To add insult to injury, a highway has been built right through the heart of their ancestral lands to accommodate “human safaris” – in which tourists toss food at and snap photos of the Jarawa like animals in a zoo.
Agriculture is wiping out the world’s oldest hunter-gatherers
The Hadza have been living peacefully, happily and sustainably in the Great Rift Valley of East Africa for at least 100,000 years. Their home, around Lake Eyasi, in Tanzania, has been called “the cradle of mankind.” A Harvard anthropologist calls them “the strongest link” we have to 2 million years of human evolution. Thanks to the spread of agriculture to nearly every corner of the earth, that link is about to disappear.
The consequences of allowing civilization to crowd the Hadza – and the handful of other hunter-gatherer tribes remaining on the planet – out of existence are captured beautifully and tragically in the 2014 documentary The Hadza: Last of the First.