chapter  1
30 Pages


WithBrian Morris

This chapter aims to provide some of the background material relevant to the study, and discusses the theoretical perspective that informs the study, the social setting, animal/human relationships in an historical context. Anthropology, despite its diversity, has a certain unity of purpose and vision. Hunter-gatherer social attitudes towards nature, though complex and diverse - it cannot be reduced to a single metaphor-expressed neither an attitude of ‘dominance’ towards the natural world, nor of passivity or abject submission toward over-powering natural forces, but rather stressed the need to maintain a sense of harmony with the world. The importance of animals among early hunter-gatherers is illustrated by their rock-art, which invariably depict animals or human/animal relationships. It seems generally agreed that this rock art - in both Europe and Africa - had a religious significance. The chapter also presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in this book.