Culture And Climate Essay
Culture And Climate
In this paper a relationship between culture and climates is discussed with a focus on the southern California hunter gatherer societies. When there is a climate change the society will have to change their way of life in order to cope or else the change of climate could end up affecting the society adversely and even claiming life. Some of the change that occurs in the society due to climate change is that of food that is being eaten. Change in climate also could mean the people adapt to a new dressing code because of the increase or reduction in the temperatures.
The effect of climate change will have a varying effect on the communities depending on whether they are gatherers/hunters or agriculturalist. When there is rain reduction the effect will be felt more by the agriculturalist than the hunters as much as all of them need the rain. When there is lack of rains some communities end up being violent as they fight for the few resources like pasture and water points. A good example of such an experience is the massacre that occurred at the Craw Creek whose evidence was the mass grave that was found with the remains of 486 individuals who had been mutilated.
The attackers it is believed that, they made the attack because they were desperate due to lack of food as a result of climate change. When the society has a fear of being attacked they will always prepare for war. The society starts training the young people on how to fight and protect the community wealth. The community which has a tendency of being involved in wars will have its members having the skills of making weapons. They will also be involved in trade with other communities in order to sell or buy weapons.
Some of the communities in Southern California like Chumash had other ways that they used as adaptation means to climate change that brought about severe droughts. This community adapted to using of a variety of plants and animal food such that when the climatic conditions were unfavorable they could resort to the use of the less preferred food which could be available at the time and these could help them avoid starvation. The communities learnt skills of storing food to avert effects caused by short term climatic changes.
These community stored acorns, had skills of smoking and drying of fish, they dried seeds in addition to having the skills of constructing indoor and outdoor storage facilities. With enough food stored the community was able to support a dense population throughout the year including the years when there was little harvest. Different species of crops and varieties perform differently in same climate change. This also applies to the different tamed animals. There are some crops that will give a very low harvest or none at all when there is a change in climate while others survive in different climatic conditions.
When communities are faced with unpredictable climate condition they resort to farming of different crops so as to survive harsh climatic conditions as seen from the case of the Chumash people. Water is a resource that becomes rare whenever there is extended droughts and as a result the communities which live in areas that are prone to droughts always have a culture of storing water. The Chumash people can also serve as an example in this area as research has shown that they had storage facilities to ensure there was supply of water for their use during the drought period.
Their most common storage vessel was an asphalt interior lined water bottle. Due to the fact that asphalt preserves well, the evidence of the water bottle use and manufacture by the community is clear. The communities that were neighbors to the Chumash like Cahuilla and were in the desert regions had the skills of digging wells as way of adapting to the desert conditions. Exchange which was practiced among the Chumash is also seen as a way of the community trying to cope with the environment they new to be unpredictable.
By the time of arrival of the Spanish the society was involved in exchange of prestige goods which partially had support of marriages that were so extensive that there was linkage of different ecological zones. There was a variety of goods that were being traded among the adjacent regions and these included foods, raw materials, manufactured goods and other goods. With the community involved in trade chiefs and other individuals who were powerful amassing a lot of wealth to themselves which was in form of prestige goods, a lot of food that was in storage facilities, shell beads which was being used as currency and canoes.
This also brought about the emerging of network systems that were very powerful which involved ceremonial feasts. The use of prestige goods is believed to have been adopted as a form of social storage over thousands of years as a response to recurring droughts that challenged steady supply of required resources of the Chumash society. Reference Lynn H. (2005). Culture and Climate: Reconsidering the Effect of Palaeoclimatic Variability among Southern California Hunter-Gatherer Societies. World Archaeology, Vol. 37, No. 1, retrieved on 27TH April 2009 from: http://www. jstor. org/stable/40023887