Epiphany on the hunter-gatherer myth, by Ria

spearfishingI traveled to the wildest vast region of Venezuela where most of the aboriginal people live, southeast, to visit with a group of Pemon in the Gran Sabana. For the first many days the food was all plant derived. One dark night sleep would not come, so I explored my immediate area relying on my senses other than sight. The jungle behind was almost silent. As I felt my way along the ground toward the opening’s stream, I suddenly sensed human presence. As I crouched and inched forward, now with my sight and all senses alert, a shadowy silhouette emerged against the night horizon. A man standing solidly still in the middle of the stream ready to strike downward with a spear. He surely sensed my presence before I sensed his. Leaving space for his strategy, I froze as he noiselessly agreed to share the moment with me observing. After a long while the expected happened. Then he stole soundlessly away carrying the outcome.

The next day when fish was offered, I told the chief I do not eat meat. He said that other people there also do not eat meat, and that meant we were closer to the creator. I noticed that only a handful of people ate the fish.

In that moment I grasped one of the largest misperceptions of our times. Generations into the future, if an anthropologist explored remnants of this place and found those fish bones discarded in ways that humans discard fish bones, it would be authoritatively concluded that this people (as an oversimplified whole) had a diet that included fish. If a reader of that anthropologist questioned labeling this entire group ‘hunter-gatherers’, that questioner would be scoffed at, challenged to show proof of veganism among aboriginal peoples.

What if wild humans who subsist/ed on plants tend/ed to be less violent, sometimes tend/ed to be oppressed and overrun by more aggressive meat eating wild humans? What if wild folio-frugivore humans from the beginning left fewer signs of their ways of eating, no bones with scratches & no hunting weapons, leaving studied understanding of their existence more obscure to us from the future? What if foraging humans with plant-based diets lived the ways most symbiotic with our species’ life in habitat? What if the more aggressive hunting humans dominated and/or ignored them, and led the charge toward our species’ invasive, colonizing, destructive ways? What if the oppressors’ man-the-hunter version of truth is now assumed, deemed indisputable? What if some humans even today remain innately connected with our most natural animal diet that excludes meat?

While some oppressors respond to challenge by shutting their minds with demands for sanctioned ‘proof’, what if other rewilding hunter-gathers open their hearts to the deepest calling back for adapting forward to our species’ most thriving primal way, ‘closer to the creator’? What if our walk on this modern path into abysmal abyss continues until our species’ clashing domination vs symbiosis ways resolves and we adapt through re-manifesting and embracing our folio-frugivore primitive mindset and way?

Ria

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4 thoughts on “Epiphany on the hunter-gatherer myth, by Ria”

  1. That was awesome to read, I was there visually with your account. I really like the implications of this, and how anthropologists and any people who rely on evidence will ultimately skew and silence those who don’t leave evidence or are conflated/grouped with others who do, such as frugivorians. This is subaltern anthropogeny if I may say!

    Liked by 1 person

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