Meal sharing among the Ye’kwana

Human Nature 18 (1):1-21 (2007)

In this study meal sharing is used as a way of quantifying food transfers between households. Traditional food-sharing studies measure the flow of resources between households. Meal sharing, in contrast, measures food consumption acts according to whether one is a host or a guest in the household as well as the movement of people between households in the context of food consumption. Our goal is to test a number of evolutionary models of food transfers, but first we argue that before one tests models of who should receive food one must understand the adaptiveness of food transfers. For the Ye’kwana, economies of scale in food processing and preparation appear to set the stage for the utility of meal sharing. Evolutionary models of meal sharing, such as kin selection and reciprocal altruism, are evaluated along with non-evolutionary models, such as egalitarian exchange and residential propinquity. In addition, a modified measure of exchange balance—proportional balance—is developed. Reciprocal altruism is shown to be the strongest predictor of exchange intensity and balance
Keywords Evolutionary ecology  Exchange  Food sharing  Meal sharing  Reciprocal altruism  Ye’kwana (Venezuela)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/bf02820843
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 39,940
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Variation in Juvenile Dependence.Karen L. Kramer - 2002 - Human Nature 13 (2):299-325.
Food Sharing at Meals.John Ziker & Michael Schnegg - 2005 - Human Nature 16 (2):178-210.

View all 7 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Kinship and Cooperation.Michael Alvard - 2009 - Human Nature 20 (4):394-416.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Food Sharing at Meals.John Ziker & Michael Schnegg - 2005 - Human Nature 16 (2):178-210.
Insights From Ifaluk: Food Sharing Among Cooperative Fishers.Richard Sosis - 2004 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 27 (4):568-569.
Key Variables in Tests of Food Sharing.Margaret Franzen - 2004 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 27 (4):563-563.
The Purpose of Exchange Helps Shape the Mode of Exchange.Raymond Hames - 2004 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 27 (4):564-565.


Added to PP index

Total views
9 ( #723,836 of 2,235,423 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
2 ( #751,929 of 2,235,423 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes

Sign in to use this feature