What Place for Hunter-Gatherers in Millennium Three?

Headland, Thomas N. and Doris E. Blood, editors

This book takes a hard look at the traumatic cultural changes that our planet's remaining hunter-gatherer societies experienced in the twentieth century, and the precarious future that is about to engulf them in the twenty-first century. The nine authors in this volume all agree that the foraging way of life, humankind's most successful adaptation for many thousands of years, has come to a close with the end of the second millennium.

Case studies are presented here looking at the past and the uncertain future for post-foraging societies, and specifically the central African Pygmies, the San Bushmen, and the Agta Negritos. Interwoven with these chapters are emphases on tropical deforestation and indigenous human rights, looking at these through the framework of human ecology.

As Alan Barnard, U Edinburgh, states, “If the human rights of proud former foraging peoples are given the attention they deserve, then there can be a bright future for them in Millennium Three. The task is not an easy one, but this book will help greatly to focus our attention on the issues that matter.”


"Unique, clearly written, and very instructive book. It examines both the difficult times hunter-gatherers have gone through … and the stinging predicament they continue to face in the third millennium…. A tale of misery and betrayal as well as holding out a bit of hope and optimism…. Very suitable for advanced courses in undergraduate anthropology." RALOYSIUS MA. L. CANETE, Arizona State U, Philippine Q of Culture & Society

"The volume is informative with regard to the practical issues that besiege hunter-gatherer populations…. Paints a picture of a changing world that currently threatens the culture and the lives of hunter-gatherers." MONICA FA W. SANTOS, Philippine Studies

"All articles are relatively short and written in a comprehensible fashion…. The central theme [is] … how foragers are dealing with drastic changes … and the resulting problems." [Translated from German] BETTINA BEER, Anthropos

"Addresses two general issues: the destruction of the forest habitat and its socio-economic consequences for local populations, and the struggle of indigenous peoples for recognition of their rights…. Has the virtue of being accessible to non-specialists." LAURENT DOUSSET, Oceania

"This book has not just advocacy but also the actions to back it up…. A good and easily digestible read…. Headland's informative photographic essay juxtaposes [Griffin's] overview [of] … foraging and post-foraging Agta."SVEN OUZMAN, U California at Berkeley, Human Ecology

"[This book is about] the human and ecological impacts of the industrialized world's assault on rainforest habitats…. Provides rare comparative material … on the changing situations of a variety of hunter-gatherers…. Headland uses photographs to good effect to describe how the Agta were forced from a 'Forager Phase' into a … 'Peasant Phase'…. Despite the appalling situations described, the authors have presented a hopeful image of the future for former hunter-gatherers." JEROME LEWIS, London School of Economics, Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute

"Provides an accessible introduction to the current threats to the survival of … post-foraging societies around the world…. Provides links to … activist organizations campaigning to protect … the rights of indigenous peoples…. Authors make their points in a clear accessible style that would allow it to be used even in a high school setting. Contains a photographic essay … that brings the material to life."THOMAS GIBSON, U Rochester, Before Farming

"This book has one central message: hunter-gatherers in general … are facing unprecedented levels of change and cultural decline…. Gives a concise depiction of these problems and will be useful to anyone seeking a quick introduction to the plight of hunter-gatherer societies today…. Raises many questions and will provoke readers to think more deeply about … the future for marginalized societies everywhere. It contains many sobering and painful passages that should be an eye-opener for the reader with no prior knowledge of these issues." LYE TUCK-PO, Heritage Watch, Asian Anthropology

Table of Contents:

Foreword Alan Barnard
Preface William R. Merrifield
Introduction Thomas N. Headland and Doris E. Blood

  1. Human Rights, Development, and the San of Southern Africa Robert K. Hitchcock
  2. The Efe Foragers in the Ituri Forest, Democratic Republic of Congo: Survival in the New Millennium? Robert C. Bailey
  3. Helping Farmers Reclaim Their Land: Sustainable Development and the Philippines Good Roots Project Ben J. Wallace
  4. Why Southeast Asian Negritos are a Disappearing People: A Case Study of the Agta of Eastern Luzon, Philippines Thomas N. Headland
  5. Change and Resilience among the Agta of Isabela and Cagayan Provinces, the Philippines P. Bion Griffin
  6. How Many Trees Does a Forest Make? S. H. Sohmer
  7. Tropical Deforestation and Culture Change Among the Agta of the Sierra Madre, Eastern Luzon: A Photographic Depiction Thomas N. Headland
  8. A Bibliography of the Agta of Eastern Luzon, Philippines Thomas N. Headland and P. Bion Griffin

A Small Exhibit on the Agta and their Future P. Bion Griffin
Area Filipinos Help Tell Story of Aborigines Katie Menzer


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xxiii, 105 pages
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