What are the Characteristics of Primitive Gathering?

i. Primitive gathering is the oldest of all economic activities.

The Gathering

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ii. Primitive gathering is the predominant way of life, for those people who subsist on the fruits, nuts, berries, roots, leaves, and fibres that they collect from trees and from shrubs and smaller plants.

iii. They plant few seeds and spend no time cultivating the soil.


iv. They exert no effort to breed, feed, or protect animals, nor do they try to improve and control their habitat.

v. Of all economic endeavours, gathering requires the least amount of capital investment and effort, but considerable space is required.

vi. It is an extensive activity requiring a large quantity of land to support each person because yields per acre and yields per person are so low that surpluses are almost non-existent.

vii. Gathering economies often involve tribal societies in which individuals or single families possess a strong recognition of territoriality. For example, individual family units of the Seeming, an extremely small group of primitive gatherers in Malaya, each control a traditional territory containing about 30 ” square kilometres.


viii. Primitive gatherers still live in the Stone Age, much like their ancestors of 100 centuries before. Indeed, some of them are not even that far advanced.

The Chavante and Chamayung tribes in the wilds of the Matto Grasso in western Brazil still do not use stone points for their arrows.

Written language is unknown. Their overall health is generally poor, and their life expectancy is short.



Primitive gathering persists primarily in isolated pockets in the low-latitudes, including the Amazon basin (Brazil, Peru, Ecuador, and Venezuela), together with a few stretches within tropical Africa, the northern fringe of Australia, the interior of New Guinea, and the interior portions of Southeast Asia (Myanmar, Thailand, and China).

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