The hunter-gather societies used the simplest form of technology to hunt and gather their food. Native Americans lived in hunter-gatherer communities composed of bands of people through kinship and marriage. The division of labor was equal between the men and women. Men would hunt for large animals and control the distribution of goods from the land, while the women would forage for fruits, nuts, tubular vegetables, and any other edible plant based food and hunt for small animals (Lenski, G., Nolan, P., & Lenski, J., 1995) and control the use of the land. Everything was shared with the whole tribe, so there was no power struggle.
Food was hard to sustain; that’s the reason for hunter-gatherer societies to be nomadic; so they couldn’t store a surplus of food. When the men killed the large animal; that entire animal was used for their survival. The bones and teeth of the animal was used to make weapons, the skin was used for clothing or patching up their tepees. Since, there was no refrigeration the meat was distributed amongst each other, cooked to eat now or smoked to make jerky for eating later. Hunter-gather societies did not waste food because food was not easily obtained. People from this society had a healthier lifestyle, because they had to walk, crawl, or run to get their food; so they burned more calories than their intake of calories.
Some, Native Americans did farm but this was rare. Inheritance of the land was passed through the maternal side and women controlled the use of the land. Women from the Iroquois tribe controlled the community’s store of goods and farming in female cooperatives. Women from the Tlingit tribe handled the money and controlled any fur transactions. In nomadic tribes, such as the Plains Indians, women owned and distributed all the domestic goods, while men controlled all items relating to hunting and warfare (Hurtado, A., Iverson, P., and Paterson, T., 2000).
Hurtado, A., Iverson, P., & Paterson, T. (2000). Major Problems in American Indian History: Documents and Essays. Houghton Mufflin Company Collegiate Division.
Lenski, G., Nolan, P., & Lenski, J. (1995). Human Societies: An Introduction to Mar sociology (7th ed). New York: McGraw-Hill.