Hunting and gathering groups are often organized about a division of labour by sex, with hunting done mainly by men, and gathering done by women. While meat is usually a source of prestige, gathering produces the indispensable food, thus suggesting that members might be more accurately labelled gatherer-hunters.
The popular image of early hunting and gathering groups struggling for survival, to the detriment of all other concerns, is a myth. There is no relation between a society's technology and the complexity of its intellectual and creative pursuits: many of these groups had a rich religious and artistic life. Indeed, Marshall Sahlins has suggested they were the ‘original affluent society’ (in Stone Age Economics, 1972), since they only needed to devote a few hours each day to subsistence activities in order to satisfy their limited material wants, thus leaving considerable periods of leisure.
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