Deep ancestry of collapsing networks of nomadic hunter-gatherers in Borneo
AffiliationDepartment of Linguistics, University of Arizona
School of Anthropology, University of Arizona
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherCambridge University Press
CitationLansing, J. S., Jacobs, G. S., Downey, S. S., Norquest, P. K., Cox, M. P., Kuhn, S. L., Miller, J. H., Malik, S. G., Sudoyo, H., & Kusuma, P. (2022). Deep ancestry of collapsing networks of nomadic hunter-gatherers in Borneo. Evolutionary Human Sciences.
JournalEvolutionary Human Sciences
RightsCopyright © The Author(s), 2022. Published by Cambridge University Press. This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Collection InformationThis item from the UA Faculty Publications collection is made available by the University of Arizona with support from the University of Arizona Libraries. If you have questions, please contact us at email@example.com.
AbstractTheories of early cooperation in human society often draw from a small sam- ple of ethnographic studies of surviving populations of hunter-gatherers, most of which are now sedentary. Borneo hunter-gatherers (Punan, Penan) have seldom figured in comparative research because of a decades-old controversy about whether they are the descendants of farmers who adopted a hunting and gathering way of life. In 2018 we began an ethnographic study of a group of still-nomadic hunter-gatherers who call themselves Punan Batu (Cave Punan). Our genetic analysis clearly indicates that they are very unlikely to be the de- scendants of neighbouring agriculturalists. They also preserve a song language that is unrelated to other languages of Borneo. Dispersed traveling groups of Punan Batu with fluid membership use message sticks to stay in contact, co- operate and share resources as they journey between rock shelters and forest camps. Message sticks were once widespread among nomadic Punan in Bor- neo, but have largely disappeared in sedentary Punan villages. Thus the small community of Punan Batu offers a rare glimpse of a hunting and gathering way of life that was once widespread in the forests of Borneo, where prosocial behaviour extended beyond the face-to-face community, facilitating successful collective adaptation to the diverse resources of Borneo's forests. Copyright © The Author(s), 2022. Published by Cambridge University Press.
NoteOpen access journal
VersionFinal published version
Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as Copyright © The Author(s), 2022. Published by Cambridge University Press. This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).