Hunter-Gatherers and Play

This is a condensed version of a larger article that appeared in the American Journal of Play (Gray, 2009).
Analysis of the anthropological literature suggests that hunter-gatherers use play and humor, more or less deliberately, to make their highly egalitarian mode of existence possible. Their methods of governance and sharing, religious beliefs and practices, and productive work are playful; and their children educate themselves through play.
The focus in this article is on band hunter-gatherers, also known as immediate-return or egalitarian hunter-gatherers (as contrasted with the more sedentary, hierarchically organized hunter-gatherer groups referred to variously as collector, delayed-return, or non-egalitarian hunter-gatherers).

This is a condensed version of a larger article that appeared in the American Journal of Play (Gray, 2009).
Analysis of the anthropological literature suggests that hunter-gatherers use play and humor, more or less deliberately, to make their highly egalitarian mode of existence possible. Their methods of governance and sharing, religious beliefs and practices, and productive work are playful; and their children educate themselves through play.
The focus in this article is on band hunter-gatherers, also known as immediate-return or egalitarian hunter-gatherers (as contrasted with the more sedentary, hierarchically organized hunter-gatherer groups referred to variously as collector, delayed-return, or non-egalitarian hunter-gatherers).

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