Re: Power in Foraging Societies (was Re:

James McCurley (jmccurl@SIMONS-ROCK.EDU)
Mon, 18 Mar 1996 11:53:25 -0500

On Sun, 17 Mar 1996, Tanned, Rested, & Ready for 2000 wrote:

> Interesting ... wasn't Cane a farmer?

There is a rather interesting story behind that particular myth. As it
is currently understood, in the area of the fertile crescent, the Semites
first developed agriculture and began expanding outward as a result of
this technology which enabled them to support a much larger population.
They assimilated all surrounding tribes into their own with little
difficulty as they took over more land. However, they were given
significant resistance by a tribe to the south whose name, please
forgive me, I cannot remember. As a larger scale conflict developed,
both sides tried to rally support for their cause. The neighboring
tribe, which happened to be one which subsisted through the herding of
animals began developing propaganda to gain favour with the surrounding
cultures. Apparantly the story of Cain and Abel was part of this
movement, with Abel representing the idyllic life of the herder, while
Cain became the aggressive and quite unpleasant farmer who was looked
upon with little favour from God. Eventually the Semites did manage to
overwhelm their herding neighbours, but strangely enough, kept this bit
of myth as part of their creation stories. I may have made a couple
of mistakes in my explanation of the phenomenon, however this is
essentially what is thought to of occurred. Oh well, that's my little
tirade for the day.
Hugs and Kisses,

"Oh no! Jason needs Dinozord power...NOW!"