Class 12 Anthropology Chapter 3 Material Culture and Economic Anthropology

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Class 12 Anthropology Chapter 3 Material Culture and Economic Anthropology, HS 2nd year Anthropology notes, Anthropology Class 12 Question Answer to each chapter is provided in the list so that you can easily browse throughout different chapters SCERT Class 12 Anthropology Chapter 3 Material Culture and Economic Anthropology and select needs one.

Class 12 Anthropology Chapter 3 Material Culture and Economic Anthropology

Also, you can read the SCERT book online in these sections Solutions by Expert Teachers as per SCERT (CBSE) Book guidelines. NCERT Solution of Class 12 Anthropology Chapter 3 Material Culture and Economic Anthropology is part of AHSEC All Subject Solutions. Here we have given Assam Board Class 12 Anthropology Chapter 3 Material Culture and Economic Anthropology Notes for All Subjects, You can practice these here.

Material Culture and Economic Anthropology

Chapter – 3


Very short type questions

1. What is the oldest form of livelihood?

Answer: The oldest form of livelihood is Pastoral farming.

2. Name one terrace cultivator community of N.E. India.

Answer: One terrace cultivator community of N.E. India is Daojali Hading.

3. What is the first domestication animal of man?

Answer: Goat is the first domestication animal of man.

4. Name one pastoral tribe of North- East India.

Answer: One pastoral tribe of North- East India is Species.

5. What is the main source of livelihood of the Todas of Nilgiri Hills?

Answer: The main source of livelihood of the Todas of Nilgiri Hills is the Buffaloes.

Short questions

6. Write the names of agricultural implements used by the rural people of Assam.

Answer: The names of agricultural implements used by the rural people of Assam are:

i) Mahindra Disc Harrow.

ii) Mahindra Boom Sprayer.

7. Write down the merits of Pastoralism.

Answer: The merits of Pastoralism are:

i) Pastoral farming helps with carbon sequestration.

ii) Animals produce daily, meat, skins, fibres.

iii) It can be done in dry lands where there is no way to grow crops.

8. What is terrace cultivator? Name one community who practises terrace cultivator.

Answer: Terrace cultivator is practised in hill slopes and is regarded as a wet cultivation. It involves terracing of the hill slopes to dam the rain water and irrigate the slopes. The terraces are constructed by cutting the hill slopes into steps. The terraces are carefully graduated in such a manner that water is able to flow from one terrace to another terrace. The terrace fields are irrigated by rainwater which flows from the topmost terrace to the downward steps. These terrace slopes are tilled by hoes.

One community who practises terrace cultivator is China.

9. What do you mean by hunting of disguise?

Answer: Disguising is done by either the predators or the prey. The predators camouflage themselves so that their prey will not be able to find them out and so they can easily catch their prey. In a similar way, the prey camouflage itself so that its predator cannot get, hold of it. There are many communities which service on hunting animals from the animal kingdom. The hunters has to devise means for killing or trapping game animals. Some of the weapons used by hunting communities are the spears, harpoons, bow and arrow. In certain hunting operation some other implements like the bola, boomerang, spear thrower, etc are also used.The missile thrower is an implement which is used in cases where the animals are present within the effective throwing range. In certain cases, hunters organise planned and communal hunting. In this kind of group hunting different methods are employed. For trapping the animals the devices used are by driving the animals into the corrals, by making pit falls, by making circles, by spear falling method, by floating harpoons, and by mimicry.

10. Write down the names of six fishing implements used in rural parts in Assam.

Answer: The names of six fishing implements used in rural parts of Assam are:

i) Fishing by weapons: In this method of fishing, devices like spear, harpoon, arrow and hooks are used to catch fishes. Fishing by using such types of weapons is common in rivers and streams with very clear water. In Assam, different communities use the hook to catch fishes. Small baits like earthworm is used to attract the fish.

ii) Fishing by traps: Traps like manipulative traps and automatic traps are used for fishing. Examples of manipulative traps are the polo, the plunge basket trap. The manipulative traps are hand operated, generally cage like or basket like in appearances. The automatic traps are kept along the currents of the water. Some of these traps have valves while other do not have them. The valve traps have valves or trap doors through which fish enters the trap but cannot come out. The valve traps may have single or double valves.

iii) Fishing by nets: Nets are used by fishermen to catch fishes. Nets can be grouped under two groups namely those nets which can be used in stagnant water like ponds, marshes and lakes and in the other group falls those nets which are used in running waters of rivers, stream and sea. In the first category are the hand operated nets which is conical in shape, and the three ends of this net are tied with a bamboo pole giving it a triangular shape. The other varieties of hand operated nets are Dip net and Cash net.

iv) Fishing by tamed animals: Different tame animals and birds like the otter, pelicans and cormorant are used to catch fishes.

v) Fishing by poisoning: Tribals like the Kuki, Khasi and Garos in northeast India uses poison and narcotic plants to catch fish. Prior to using the substances, they construct temporary embankments and pour the substances into the water. The fishes which comes in contact with this water falls senseless or dead. These are then collected by them.

vi) Fishing by screening: The method of fishing by screening is used in tidal waters. A fence of reeds and twigs is raised across the stream through which the fish cannot pass and escape through during low tide, making it possible for the fishermen to catch it.

11. What is food gathering economy? What are the different types of gathering economy.

Answer: The food gathering economy is based on gathering of wild fruits and roots and hunting and fishing, while the Food Production economy is based on raising of crops through different methods like Horticulture, Shifting Cultivation, Terrace Cultivation and Plough Cultivation.

The food gathering societies mostly lived in small communities called as bands. The band was the basic unit of this type of society and consisted of a small group of families who were related by kinship and marriage bonds. Most of the food gathering communities live in remote and marginal areas, where they have been pushed by the more advanced and larger communities.

The different types of gathering economy are:- the Birhors, the Kharia, the Chenchu, the Malapantaram, the Kadar, the Paliyan, the Paniyan, the Yanadi and the Kurumba.

12. What is domestication of animals? What were the objectives of domestication of animals in early times?

Answer: The domestication of animals in the mutual relationship between animals and the humans who have influence on their care and reproduction. Pastoral economy is dependent on domestication of animals.

The objectives of domestication of animals in early times were-the principal aim of cattle breeding in ancient times was to obtain meat and skin and to produce work animals, which greatly  contributed to the development of agriculture.

Essay type questions

13. What is shifting cultivation? Discuss its merits and demerits.

Answer: Shifting cultivation has been defined as “any  agricultural system in which fields are cleared by firing and are cropped discontinuously. This method of cultivation is also known as ‘Slash or Burn’. Shifting cultivation is regarded as the most primitive method of cultivation, whose origin evolved during the Neolithic period more then 10,000 years ago.

Its merits are:

i) In this type of cultivation, groups of people work together, as such, individual labour is minimised.

ii) Multiple cropping ensures production of a variety of cereals and vegetables.

iii) Shifting cultivators need not depend on nature and also need not move frequently like the food gatherers.

iv) The implements used for cultivation are simple.

v) Shifting cultivation do not require tilling of soil, irrigation facilities, fertiliser , etc.

Its demerits are: 

i) Shifting cultivation destroys the forest resources due to cutting of trees and plants. This also results in short supply of building materials.

ii) As they have to shift from one place to another, they cannot have a permanent habitation.

iii) Frequent cutting of trees effects the climate of a region. It leads to low rainfall and drying up of springs in the hills and forests.

iv) lt leads to loss of fertility of soil and causes soil erosion.

v) The shifting cultivators lack knowledge regarding use of improved variety of seeds, fertilisers, etc, hence they have less production and the produce are of inferior quality.

14. What are the different types of subsistence economy? Mention the general characteristics of a food gathering society.

Answer: The different types of subsistence economy 


i) Nature – based.

ii) Nonprofit – based.

iii) Market – based.

iv) Hybrid.

The general characteristics of a food gathering society are:

i) First, because of mobility, the amount of personal property is kept low.

ii) Second, the resource base keeps group size very small, below 50.

iii) Third, local groups do not “maintain exclusive rights to territory.” 

15. Compare producing economy with collecting  economy.

Answer: Producing economy is the process of combining various material inputs and immaterial inputs in order to make something for consumption. It is the act of creating an output, a good or service which has value and contributes to the utility of individuals while collecting economy is the social demand, based on the perception that a collection is valuable, defines its salability. In contrast to the traditional economy, the collector economy recognizes that taste is socially created, and that a community creates consensus on the value, rarity and desirability of a collection.

16. “Producing economy is superior to collecting economy” _ Discuss.

Answer: “Producing economy is superior to collecting economy” because the production of one good reduces the cost of producing another related good. Economics of scope occur when producing a wider variety of goods or services in tandem is more cost effective for a firm than producing less of a variety, or producing each good independently. Factors of production is an economic term that describes the inputs used in the production of goods or services to make an economic profit.

17. Write a note on the Jhum cultivation mentioning its different stages. Give examples from the tribes you studied.

Answer: Jhum cultivation, also known as ‘Slash and Burn’ cultivation is a practice of cultivation where a piece of forest land is cleared and cultivated. In this type of cultivation, a suitable plot of land on a hill slope is selected and the trees, bamboos and small shrubs and cut in the winter season and allowed to dry during the summer season. When dry, these are burnt and the ashes, scattered over the whole plot of land. With the onset of monsoon season, different types of vegetables, cereals are sown using the broadcasting method. Sometimes seeds of some vegetables are also sown by digging holes on the land by using a simple digging stick. Mixed cropping is a feature of shifting cultivation. Wedding is also done. When the produce is ripe, harvesting is done. 

Its different stages are:

i) selecting the forest patch or land.

ii) worshipping.

iii) cutting the forest growth and spreading it for drying.

iv) collecting big logs and firewood. 

v) setting fire to the shrubs.

vi) planning or final preparation of the field for sowing.

vii) sowing seeds with digging sticks or with the help of hoes.

viii) weeding.

ix) watching and protecting the crop.

x) harvesting and storing.

xi) worshipping.

xii) merry-making. and 

xiii) fallowing.

18. “Shifting cultivation should be replaced by permanent cultivation”_ Discuss with reasons.

Answer: ‘ Shifting cultivation should be replaced by permanent cultivation’- because it is an agricultural system in which plots of land are cultivated temporarily, then abandoned while post- disturbance fallow vegetation is allowed to freely grow while the cultivator moves on to another plot. The period of cultivation is usually terminated when the soil shows signs of exhaustion or, more commonly, when the field is overrun by weeds. The period of time during which the field is cultivated is usually shorter than the period over which the land is allowed to regenerate by lying fallow.

Shifting cultivation is practised in all the seven states of North-East India and is commonly known as Jhum cultivation. The shifting cultivators are called as Jhumia. The Reigns of Tripura call it as Hichusisomoms, the Adis of Arunachal Pradesh call it as Adimdik. It is known as Lyngkhalum or Shruti among the Khasis, Bogma among the Garos of Meghalaya, Tekeoglu among the Ao Nagas of Nagaland and Inglong Arit among the Karbis of Assam. It is also practised in different parts of India and is known by different names such as Kurwa or Khallu in the Santhal Parganas, Bewara in Ranchi, palamau in Bihar, Podu, Rema, Dahi, kaman, Bringa, Gudia, Dongar  Chas in Orissa, Penda, Dahiya, Bewar, Guharh, Farha, Dippa, Marhan or Erka in Madhya Pradesh and Kondapady in Andhra Pradesh.

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