chapter  19
Reflections on Hunter-Gatherer Childhoods
ByMichael E. Lamb, Barry S. Hewlett
Pages 9

This concluding chapter discusses some of the major overarching issues raised earlier in the book. Konner's extraordinarily detailed descriptions of childcare among the !Kung hunter-gatherers were just becoming known in 1969, and they substantiated many of Bowlby's presumptions and predictions about the evolutionary origins of human behavior. The observations and reports compiled in this volume reflect the broadening and maturation of scholarship on childhood in hunting and gathering cultures. They reflect the shift from an exclusive focus on infant care to a realization that humans are dependent on adults far longer than the young of any other species. Even as scholars ponder questions about the meaning and function of childhood in our species, research on childhood in hunting and gathering cultures is more important than ever, in part because the hunting and gathering lifestyle has never been more threatened by encroachment.