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You are here: Home / Events / "Beyond Woman the Gatherer: Martu Women of the Western Desert of Australia" a talk by Rebecca Bliege Bird

"Beyond Woman the Gatherer: Martu Women of the Western Desert of Australia" a talk by Rebecca Bliege Bird

When Mar 22, 2017
from 03:30 PM to 05:00 PM
Where 216 Willard Building
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Rebecca Bliege Bird

Rebecca Bliege Bird,  

Professor of Anthropology  

Penn State University

                            

Martu women of the Western Desert of Australia challenge many of the stereotypes about hunter gatherers, including the generalization that women specialize on plant gathering either as a complement to men’s protein acquisition, or because hunting is too difficult or risky for women. Martu women take pride in their hunting ability, and in the fact that their hunting produces meat which is widely shared among women to provision others, generate prestige for the hunter, and build strong cooperative social networks.  In this talk, I explore how gender differences in Martu subsistence are maintained and how women’s social and reproductive strategies are intertwined with hunting and sharing.

Dr. Bliege Bird is an ecological anthropologist interested in the socioecology of subsistence in small scale societies. She pursues such topics as the gender division of labor in hunting and gathering, cooperation, costly signaling, indigenous conservation/land management, and fire ecology, drawing on theory, models, and methods from behavioral ecology and landscape ecology to answer questions about how local social contexts influence economic decision-making and how such decisions impact local ecological communities.