Social Learning Among recent Hunter-Gatherers: Jun/wasi Examples

Author(s): Alison Brooks; John Yellen

Year: 2018


While interest in the role of social learning in the Paleolithic has focused extensively on stone artifacts, very little attention has been paid to social learning in living forager populations. In this paper we report on many years of fieldwork among the Jun/wasi of northwestern Botswana and Namibia. We argue that most cultural transmission in relation to domains such as technology, language and food acquisition was informal, and was acquired in the context of close daily relationships between children (including ours) and Jun/wasi adults, as well as between younger and older children in the context of play groups as children grow. We will also discuss the transmission and acquisition of new technologies from contacts outside the Jun/wasi community. These ethnographic data have direct implications for interpreting the archaeological record, particularly the spatial patterning of culturally transmitted material cultural remains.

Cite this Record

Social Learning Among recent Hunter-Gatherers: Jun/wasi Examples. Alison Brooks, John Yellen. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 444460)

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Spatial Coverage

min long: 9.58; min lat: -35.461 ; max long: 57.041; max lat: 4.565 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 22666