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Kinship, lineage identity, and an evolutionary perspective on the structure of cooperative big game hunting groups in Indonesia.

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  • Sociobiology


Work was conducted among traditional, subsistence whale hunters in Lamalera, Indonesia in order to test if kinship or lineage membership is more important for explaining the organization of cooperative hunting parties ranging in size from 8-14 men. Crew identifications were collected for all 853 hunts that occurred between May 3 and August 5, 1999. Lineage identity and genetic relatedness were determined for a sample of 189 hunters. Results of matrix regression show that kinship explains little of the hunters' affiliations independent of lineage identity. Crews are much more related amongst themselves than expected by chance. This is due, however, to the correlation between lineage membership and kinship. Lineage members are much more likely to affiliate in crews, but beyond r = 0.5 kin are just as likely not to affiliate. The results are discussed vis-à-vis the evolution of cooperation and group identity.

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