What Are Some Subsistence Strategies?


Quick Answer

Subsistence strategies consist of hunting and gathering, cultivation, pastoralism, distribution and exchange. Sub-strategies of these main types include artisan fishing, horticulture, subsistence agriculture, pastoral nomadism, transhumance, ranch agriculture, reciprocity, redistribution, potlatching, conquest and taxation, garbage picking and raiding.

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Full Answer

As of 2014, societies that still use subsistence strategies are the Australian Aborigines who use hunting, the Jivaro who use cultivation, the Navajo who use pastoralism, the Hopi who use agriculture and Europeans who use distribution and exchange. Artisan fishing refers to subsistence fishing practices that use traditional weapons such as harpoons, arrows, throw nets and traditional fishing boats. Horticulture refers to the domain of plant growth, cultivation and propagation. This includes trees, shrubs, vines, floral crops, vegetables, fruits, landscape plants and grapes.

Subsistence agriculture refers to the goal of growing enough food on a patch of land to sustain the family all year. Pastoral nomadism refers to the cyclical movement of people along with livestock between locations following the change in seasons. Transhumance is different in that only the shepherds follow the livestock. Ranching refers to settling on a permanent patch of land to raise the livestock. Reciprocity refers to mutual goodwill and cooperation between equal members. Redistribution spreads wealth from some individuals to others. Potlatching refers to giving away gifts from prominent members of a society to poor members on certain occasions and gaining prestige in return.

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