Why is There no Poverty in Tribal Societies? Is it Because They Have no Concept of Money?
And if so, would we be a better society without a concept of money?
I think if you study social anthropology, you will find poverty in some tribes - not money, but often there are certain members of the tribe who do not work as much or provide as much. The Ik tribe somewhere in Africa (can't recall, many years since I read the book) was one such tribe that had no communal feelings or desire to provide for their fellow tribe members. If the head of a family died, the widow often starved to death, as did the children, and no one would step in and care for them. If a fellow tribe member was hurt, they would actually laugh. The writer, Colin Turnbull, stated that he had never seen any other human beings without any redeeming qualities as this tribe.
So in a sense that would be poverty. I think famine eventually did them in.
No. There are many tribal socities that have a form of money. The reason why there appears to be no poverty is because each member is brought up within an extended family and has a sense of moral responsibility.
I don't know much about tribal societies but in my country, I think one of the reasons why some tribes are better off (in a sense that they don't starve) is because instead of private property, they have a more communal idea of property where everything is shared including responsibility over another human
My guess is that many do not have a form of monetary currency. They mostly live off the land and by doing that their form of currency would be in trading goods and services. For example, a certain amount of food for a weapon, or possibly food for a certain type of work to be done. In that way for a tribe to be in poverty they would have a small amount of goods to work with. So, things like a drought that would cost their crop to be low could ultimately slide them into poverty because they would have a lot smaller amount of goods to trade with.
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