By Marvin Harris
During this significant and profound research the celebrated American anthropologist Marvin Harris indicates how the unending different types of cultural habit -- usually so difficult at the start look -- might be defined as variations to specific ecological stipulations. His goal is to account for the evolution of cultural types as Darwin accounted for the evolution of organic varieties: to teach how cultures undertake their attribute kinds in line with altering ecological modes.
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Additional info for Cannibals and Kings
There are women who are brawnier and more powerful than some men. The winner of the 1972 Olympic women's javelin competition set a record of 209 ft 7 in, which not only surpasses the spear· throwing pOtential of most males but also betters the performance of several former champion Olympic male javelin throwers (though they used slightly heavier javelins). So if the crucial factor in forming a war party is brawniness, why not include women whose strength matches or exceeds that of the average enemy male 7 I think the answer is that the occasional military success of well-trained, large and powerful females against smaller males would conflict with the sex hierarchy upon which preferential female infanticide is predicated, Males who are successful warriors are rewarded with several wives and sexual privileges that depend on women being reared to accept male supremacy.
Obviously it is part: of human nature to be able to become aggressive and to wage war. But how and when we become aggressive is controlled by our cultures rather than by our genes. To explain the origin of warfare one must be able to explain why aggressive responses take the specific form of organized intergroup combat. As Ashley Montagu has warned us, even in infrahuman species killing is not the goal of aggression. There are no drives or instincts or predispositions in 1 human beings to kill other human beings on the ·battlefield, 1HE ORIGIN OF WAR 47 although under certain conditions they can easily be taught to do so.
The actual steps by which the animals were saved from extinction could have been simple. Many modern-day huntercollectors and village horticulturalists keep animals as pets. Just as it was not lack of knowledge about plants that delayed the development of farming, so was it not lack of knowledge a about animals that prevented earlier cultures from raising large numbers of sheep and goats as pets and making use of them for food and other economic benefits. The principal limitation was rather that human.