Solway - Chapter 04
At the 1966 "Man the Hunter" conference, Marshall Sahlins first advanced
his provocative conception of hunter-gatherers1 as "The Original
Affluent Society." Eventually published in 1968 in extended form
in Les Temps Modernes and as the lead essay in his important book,
Stone Age Economics ( 2004), Sahlins drew on recent huntergatherer
ethnography, especially Lee's work on the !Kung San, to
argue that hunters and gatherers experience reasonable material security
and consequently are not perpetually on the edge of starvation.
Taking the point further, and offering a clever twist on Galbraith's recently
published book, The Affluent Society, he proposed that foragers
might well be the original affluent society because of the relative ease
with which they satisfy their wants.