What are the characteristics of a hunter-gather community?  

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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There are a number of characteristics that are typical of most hunter-gatherer communities.  Let us look at some of the most important of these.

First, they are generally quite small.  Hunter-gatherers cannot, for the most part, create large surpluses of food.  This means that they cannot support large populations.  Their groups are, therefore, generally much smaller than agricultural settlements can be.

Second, they are typically nomadic.  This is not true of all such societies, but most of them must move around since food supplies are at least somewhat seasonal.

Third, they are typically not very technologically advanced.  Smaller societies do not tend to have as many people to invent technology.  They must always be on the move, so large pieces of technology (such as spinning wheels or looms, perhaps) are not practical.

Finally, they are typically not very hierarchical in nature.  Leaders of such groups typically must lead by persuasion, not by giving orders.  Religions are also not very authoritarian in nature.  Instead, essentially everyone in the group is equal to everyone else.

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