While Wola society differs on many counts from those labelled as huntergatherer societies, it is similar in the high regard that it places on successful hunters sharing their catch. So, while women and children may catch relatively few animals themselves, they infrequently miss out on a share of any meat. Indeed it is customarily for men who catch small game, such as insigniﬁcant birds and rodents, to give these to children and not eat themselves (the Gnau have a similar expectation – Lewis 1975: 91). Adolescents, who sometimes overlook to do so, may be chastised by senior relatives and even hit, especially if deprived youngsters make a fuss. A man returning home with a large animal can expect to meet with delight, the meat a rare contribution to the largely vegetable diet. He will share it with his family and other kin and friends present. It is usual for a hunter’s family to keep such a meal a secret, looking out for eager toddlers broadcasting the news, because no game animals are large – the largest mammals are tree kangaroos and wallabies, neither of which are likely to yield more than a kilogram or so of ﬂesh. The further they have to share the meat, the less for everyone. While
it is impolite to linger if one stumbles across a family engaged in cooking an animal, it is awkward not to invite kin who turn up to share in the meal. This consideration sometimes prompts hunters to cook and eat their catch secretly alone in the forest, particularly if small. But it can be risky; if their families ﬁnd out they may face their anger. It is more usual for hunters to share their catch, perhaps returning with some previously cooked meat.