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Recurrence of Bear Restoration Symbolism: Minusinsk Basin Evenki and Basin-Plateau Ute

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By combining ethnographic and evolutionary psychological approaches, this paper compares adaptive strategies of two groups of hunter-gatherers colonizing marginal environments, one in Southern Siberia (Minusinsk Basin) and the other in North America (Great Basin and Colorado Plateau). The biological and cultural survival of Southern Siberian (Evenki) and Basin-Plateau (Numic) hunter-gatherers depended upon developing a complex of social and symbolic strategies, including ritual, oral narratives and rock art. These symbolic representations, which emerged in response to reproductive and somatic demands, appear to have been preserved and transmitted inter-generationally, and to have recurred cross-culturally above chance.

Affiliations: 1: Program for Writing and Rhetoric, University of Colorado, ENVD Building 1B30, Boulder, CO 80309, USA


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