Interhousehold Meat Sharing among Mayangna and Miskito Horticulturalists in Nicaragua

Human Nature 22 (4):394-415 (2011)

Recent analyses of food sharing in small-scale societies indicate that reciprocal altruism maintains interhousehold food transfers, even among close kin. In this study, matrix-based regression methods are used to test the explanatory power of reciprocal altruism, kin selection, and tolerated scrounging. In a network of 35 households in Nicaragua’s Bosawas Reserve, the significant predictors of food sharing include kinship, interhousehold distance, and reciprocity. In particular, resources tend to flow from households with relatively more meat to closely related households with little, as predicted by kin selection. This generalization is especially true of household dyads with mother-offspring relationships, which suggests that studies of food sharing may benefit from distinctions between lineal and collateral kin. Overall, this analysis suggests that exchanges among kin are primarily associated with differences in need, not reciprocity. Finally, although large game is distributed widely, qualitative observations indicate that hunters typically do not relinquish control of the distribution in ways predicted by costly signaling theory
Keywords Social network analysis  Cooperation  Food sharing  Kin selection  Reciprocal altruism  Tolerated scrounging
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s12110-011-9126-4
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: 40,000
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

Kinship and Cooperation.Michael Alvard - 2009 - Human Nature 20 (4):394-416.
Kin Preference and Partner Choice.David A. Nolin - 2011 - Human Nature 22 (1-2):156-176.

View all 15 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Reciprocity on Demand.Michael Schnegg - 2015 - Human Nature 26 (3):313-330.

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.
Tolerated Scrounging in Nonhuman Primates.Gillian R. Brown - 2004 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 27 (4):562-563.
The History of Human Food Transfers: Tinbergen's Other Question.Jim Moore - 2004 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 27 (4):566-567.
The Complexity of Human Sharing.Eric Alden Smith - 2004 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 27 (4):567-568.


Added to PP index

Total views
14 ( #542,443 of 2,236,054 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
2 ( #761,889 of 2,236,054 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes

Sign in to use this feature