Which Primitives?, por John Bedell:
One thing we know is that our distant ancestors did not farm or raise animals; they were hunters and gatherers. We therefore look to modern hunting and gathering groups for insights into our own distant past.
What are hunter-gatherers like? Are they peaceful or violent? Do they carefully tend the wild resources on which they depend or use whatever they can take? Are men and women equal in status among them? To ask these questions sets us trembling, as before the revelation of some great religious mystery: tell us about ourselves, O Anthropologist. What is our nature?
To ask these questions also assumes that they have answers. We can't say what hunter-gatherers are like unless they are like something in particular. But are they? Not according to Robert Kelly. In The Foraging Spectrum Kelly argues that hunter-gatherers are so diverse in their behavior that the words do not even denote a meaningful category for analysis. Of course, Kelly managed to write a 446-page book about this non-category, so the words must mean something, but Kelly has a point. Hunter-gatherer societies differ from each other on every point of interest to moderns trying to understand their own origins: some are violent, some peaceful; some are egalitarian, some have chiefs and slaves; in some men and women are equal in most ways, but in others women are denigrated and oppressed.