Hunter-gatherer tribes

People living close to nature has been an inspiration for the hope of a simpler happier life.


2 min read
Hunter-gatherer tribes

There are parts of the environmental movement that believes that humans would be happier if we lived closer to nature. They leave their modern cities in the hope of starting a new life, free from the stresses of their previous life. They create new villages hoping to build a community for prosperity and happiness.

Creating a new community usually means finding ways to be self sufficient and content with less stuff. All the stuff around us occupies a part of our awareness. It takes work to produce the stuff, use the stuff and dispose the stuff. Taken as a whole, where may be a lot of things that we could live without and have a more fulfilling life. Feets on earth rather than concrete.

People living close to nature has been an inspiration for the hope of a simpler happier life. Anthropological studies has found several of the remaining hunter-gathering tribes to be egalitarian and peaceful. That has served as a proof of existence that another way of life is possible.

I will not try to state how it actually was for the humans on earth 10000 years ago. There was probably a lot of variation over time and place. But we can try to understand how different types of societies may affect the life of those living in it.

Inequality in a society is a source of stress. When were are a difference in what people can do or have, were will be resentment and conflicts. Those stresses will also lead to health problems. Inequality is a greater source of stress than poverty, as long as the basic human needs are covered.

Inequality may be based on family legacy, wealth, occupation, ability or gender. There are a theory that agrarian tribes developed greater inequality than hunter-gatherer tribes. One reason for that might be that it was easier for a hunter-gatherer to be self sufficient. They would not lose as much if they decided to leave their problems behind and go to another location.


The Nora tribe in Horizon Zero Dawn venerates mother nature. As hunter-gatherers they have no livestock and no agriculture. They live off the sacred land. The roles in the tribe has names such as Stitcher, Hunter, Gatherer, Trader, Sentinel, Brave and Seeker. The Nora sees technology as a source of corruption.

We keep the tribe’s rituals. Otherwise we might become like the faithless Old Ones, who turned their backs on the Goddess. But their wickedness doomed them. To us were left the splendors of creation.

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