What challenges did early humans face in the book Reindeer Moon?

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thetall eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Reindeer Moon tells the story of human beings during the Stone Age through the experiences of Yanan, a girl who becomes a woman and later dies during childbirth. The story offers a glimpse into the lives of people living during the Stone Age, the challenges they faced and triumphs they achieved. Yanan’s mother dies during childbirth and so does the baby a few days later. She suffers a similar fate in what is seen as a cycle of death during that period.

In the story, the early human beings suffered from several challenges, which include:

High maternal and infant mortality - The early humans lacked the know-how to deal with pregnancy-related complications. This led to an increase in deaths among pregnant women, new mothers and their newborns or infants, as was the case with Yanan’s mother.

Poor medical practices - The early humans also suffered from poor medical practices as a result of insufficient medical knowledge. Yanan’s father died from an infected animal bite, which could have been prevented if adequately handled.

Unstable populations - Due to insufficient or poor medical practices, diseases, conflicts and lack of food, the groups were unable to maintain stable populations essential for survival during the period. The remaining people were forced to travel long distances to merge with other groups for survival.

Lack of technology - They lacked technology as seen in their inability to store food. Most of their food supplies if not consumed immediately were left to rot, forcing the groups to spend most of their time hunting for more food.

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