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460). This research focuses more on the latter as displaying more indigenous cultural subsistence evidence, which is nonetheless indicated and measured against more modern developments in the less traditional periphery. The result is a one-stable culture experiencing major structural transition or demic change, resulting primarily from population density changes driven by resource scarcity and subsistence mode of different cultures, specifically "everyone else," i.e. The global demand for forest and mineral resources (oil) located under the Huaorani home range (Belaunde, 2008, p. 460). The traditional Huaoranis resisted invasion by neighbors while those neighbors were peer tribal cultures, but are having more difficulty resisting invasion by industrialized nations themselves driven by subsistence mode constraints. One major cultural change has become the necessity for a more articulated central 'government' to represent Waos against encroachment by the states that have arisen around them, where their previous subsistence mode allowed less formal norms and roles for centuries.
Reversing the analysis displays constraints
These outcomes could perhaps have arisen differently, and such speculation is useful if only to derive possible alternatives in order to see if this subsistence mode was chosen, or arose through unavoidable necessity. Returning to a primordial resource endowment where the Huaorani inhabited a wide, occasionally invaded but never conquered arboreal forest rich with game, fish and vegetarian subsistence, why differentiate from a hunter-gatherer mode into albeit transitory but semi-semisedentary emerging-agricultural subsistence paradigm? Lu proposes "subsistence risk," or the more predictable results from light agriculture (Lu, 2006, p. 187), plausible given the absence of heavy animal stock and metallurgy with which to break and cultivate land, especially where that inolved deforestation. That the pre-contact Huaorani found wooden hunting and farming implements adequate is supported by their employment of this traditional technology until very recent encroachment by more industrialized cultures. Had the need for more permanent agricultural development arisen, the Wao culture would have been hard pressed to respond with only the available human capacity absent heavier animal work sources employed by more agricultural societies. We can perhaps infer the Huaorani culture may have developed in response to agricultural limitations that reinforced abundance of other subsistence alternatives based on limiting population growth to sustainable local carrying capacity rather than expanding extraction and development to meet a perceived need for social expansion. Nor was indigenous fauna like peccary or small game conducive to herding and enclosure that arose in societies with different initial factor endowments and thus subsistence mode options. The result was a mutual interdependence punctuated by occasional thinning through murder and voluntary attrition once producers became to old to hunt, raise crops or contribute in the absence of other specialization.
Compared to other cultures with technological and natural endowments of animal and mechanical "traction" (Neilsen, 2005, p. 6) that took the heavier road to agricultural and industrial subsistence, the Huaorani culture developed along lines closer to indigenous American, African and Micronesian populations that adapted populations to preexisting factor endowments, rather than breaking the forest to agriculture like later European and Euro-American cultures in response to population pressures, using techniques and technology derived from earlier Egyptian and Mesopotamian agriculture and development, themselves perhaps arising from subsistence constraints arising from population growth. These potential drivers of cultural development are speculative but useful in elaborating the ways subsistence mode constraints give rise to cultural elements that result from initial factor endowments, but then change over time as exogenous pressures of depletion, of natural resources including space. This cultural change is often driven by natural resource depletion and subsistence constraints outside a particular culture, once that society comes in contact with neighbors facing the results of their own initial factor endowments and cultural evolution. Thus others' susbsistence modes eventually provoke change in otherwise stable and isolated cultures like the Huaorani (Lu, Fariss and Bilsborrow, 2009, p. 259).
I have argued that resource constraints societies emerge within, i.e. intial factor endowment, affects and shapes economic organization, gender roles and kinship organization in different ways, within and between societies when they come into contact. In the case of the Huaorani of northeastern Ecuador, an abundance of subsistence allowed relaxed social kinship roles deriving from a balanced gender identity built more on cooperation than hegemony or dominance. This arrangement led to role identity that overlapped more than in many other societies, but that traditional Huaorani norms are under stress due to contact with other cultures, themselves experiencing resource limitations and depletion.
Beckerman, S., Erickson, P., Yost, J., Regaladod, J., Jaramilloe, L., Sparks, C. et al. (2009, May 19). Life histories, blood revenge, and reproductive success among the Waorani of Ecuador. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science 106 (20), 8134 -- 8139.
Belaunde, L. (2008). Review, Rival, L., Trekking through history: the Huaorani of Amazonian Ecuador. New York: Columbia Univ. Press, 2002. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 14, 431-472.
Lu, F. (2006). The commons' in an Amazonian context.…[continue]
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