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Non-Hierarchical Paleo Permaculture Hunter-Gatherer Intentional Community  RSS feed

 
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I think the idea of multiple locations that are close enough to travel between by walking or canoeing is great.

So where should such a system be located?

1. Locate your community close to existing successful communities and establish good relations with them. To some degree, the more people who are perceived to be like you, the less likely it is that you will be hassled.

2. Locate on and across political borders. Ideally some of your places to move between should be in different counties, different states, and different countries. This dramatically minimizes the likelihood of being hassled by various governments. If one government starts to hassle you, simply move out of their jurisdiction.

There is historic precedent for this in "March" regions between two countries. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/March_%28territory%29
 
Posts: 113
Location: Boreal Alaska
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UPDATE!!!

We have officially purchased our first property for this project. Due to real estate prices, our hunter-gatherer bias, and supportive friends in the area already living a more or less subsistence hunting + small scale gardening lifestyle, we selected a property in Alaska to get things started. The land is 4 acres of riverfront on a salmon river in interior Alaska. More details to follow, just wanted to give a short progress report.

Things are getting a lot closer and a bit more real! We hope some of you will be joining our party soon.
 
Francisco Gonzalez
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Andrew Scott wrote:UPDATE!!!

We have officially purchased our first property for this project. Due to real estate prices, our hunter-gatherer bias, and supportive friends in the area already living a more or less subsistence hunting + small scale gardening lifestyle, we selected a property in Alaska to get things started.



Congratulations! on taking real action. I very much liked your idea of several properties that would be close or adjacent to National Forest or other public access land. So are you close to National Forest and does it look like you will be able to purchase property #2 and property #3 within a human capable travel distance from your first one?
 
Andrew Scott
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Francisco Gonzalez wrote:I very much liked your idea of several properties that would be close or adjacent to National Forest or other public access land. So are you close to National Forest and does it look like you will be able to purchase property #2 and property #3 within a human capable travel distance from your first one?



This property is surrounded by mostly state land, which in Alaska generally seems preferable to federal land. There are multiple opportunities to purchase other properties in the area. We're looking at additional properties in more moderate parts of AK (south and southeast), in addition to places other than Alaska. While the cluster/node concept is important, the vision is to have multiple clusters in a broader network that is not limited to one state, nation, bioregion, or hemisphere.
 
Francisco Gonzalez
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Andrew this is a brilliant thread. I'm hoping you can take time to edit out the best parts and post them as an article somewhere, perhaps on your web site.

Speaking of which, do you have a web site and or any way to get in contact with you other than Facebook?

I don't use Facebook.
 
Posts: 81
Location: Ontario, Canada
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Something of this sort could be realized in my County.

Land is relatively cheap because of climate and topography, yet excellent for Permaculture. It is a custom here to gather seasonal goodies, and bring home wild game. There is vacant land, even abandoned towns that could serve as your Nodes. So where is this place? Central Ontario, Canada, nudging towards Northern On.

Yes, I know it's cold, but harsh conditions (hot or cold) create sharing communities, because their all in it together.
Harsh climates determine where and when hunting/gathering are seasonally available. It also determines population density, as it's not for everyone it seems, because it's cold...or so I've been told several times.
Wildlife abounds everywhere, in the country side, in the barnyards, and sometimes right in the back door.

Many in this area are descended from Scot & Irish immigrants arriving here during the Great Famine, considered by the British Parliament of the time as; sub-human, primitive, referred to as "tribes" on period docs. I guess we brought our Paleo Hunter Gathering ways with us. These Scots & Irish got/get along with the First Nations population, having similar ways in general.

Some aspects of this thread are in existence here, among the grass roots population, between neighbors, and a circuit of "word of mouth" for trading, sharing, and support. There is an innate foundation that could be worked with. Yes, we must deal with bureaucrats, but here we can obtain the original Land Patent Grants, which have never been altered by law, and go a long way in how a property owner can run their affairs, and how municipalities can't.

Just remember; Cold Hands = Warm Hearts.

I'll be honest here, this thread is making my head spin! So, if this post sounds a little disjointed...please be kind.

K
 
Francisco Gonzalez
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Kate Michaud wrote:

Land is relatively cheap because of climate and topography, yet excellent for Permaculture. It is a custom here to gather seasonal goodies, and bring home wild game. There is vacant land, even abandoned towns that could serve as your Nodes. So where is this place? Central Ontario, Canada, nudging towards Northern On. ...



Kate, can you recommend some parts of Ontario where land is relatively cheap and you think the climate is suitable for permaculture? I just pulled up a map of Ontario and it's really really big!
 
Kate Michaud
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Location: Ontario, Canada
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Hi Francisco.

First let me apologize for being so tardy in replying to your question, had some computer issues that demanded immediate attention.

Cheap land is relative and a subjective thing;

1. Proximity to populated centers, has much to do with total acreage available and the cost per acre.
2. Topography, and (seasonal) access has much to do with price.
3. What is cheap to one person, is expensive to another.

So to begin a search of Ontario; one should ask themselves the following questions:

A. What is the comfortable distance one wants to be to, or from a populated center, and the size of that center?
B. How prepared are they to negotiate the terrain, the climate, and seasonal changes?
C. What skill sets have they to take on any of the above?

The further North and West in Ontario, the less dense is the population, the rougher the topography, and the more severe the climate, ergo; the cheaper the land. I saw a post recently that showed a parcel of 160 acres going for approximately $300.00 an acre, give or take. Access was via an old logging road that was not seasonally maintained. It was said to be 18 miles, or Kilometres, North of the nearest populated area in the Thunder Bay region, zone 2b.

If one is willing to consider $1,000.00 per acre, that would put them further South, closer to small populated areas for support, and in a warmer zone.
So, in my opinion, the important questions that need defining to begin a comprehensive search for land in Ontario would be to answer; A, B, and C, as sighted above. This would then narrow down the search to feasible areas.

Looking forward to a continuation of the search.

Cheers. K

 
Andrew Scott
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Francisco Gonzalez wrote:Andrew this is a brilliant thread. I'm hoping you can take time to edit out the best parts and post them as an article somewhere, perhaps on your web site.

Speaking of which, do you have a web site and or any way to get in contact with you other than Facebook?

I don't use Facebook.



Thank you, Francisco.

It seems I have missed notifications on this thread again. Many of us are anxious to increase distance from Facebook. I am pleased to share that the outgrowth of this ongoing discussion is launching this week via our new website at feralculture.com! We hope to see you all there, and also are happy to continue discussions here.
 
Andrew Scott
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Funny to think how long ago this thread started, and the circle the project and these ideas have taken. We don't adhere to any particular philosophy or ism at the group level, so it's not a proclamation of any kind of card carrying anarcho-primitivist club to say our core concept was featured in the first issue of Kevin Tucker's new project, Black and Green review. Perhaps this will clarify some of the concepts we've been hammering out and putting into increasing practice since the OP: Feralculture: Talking Nodal Land Projects
 
Andrew Scott
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I just discovered the thread and love it. Like many, maybe most people, I've fantasized about this situation. I do however see some potential problems that would need to be addressed.

The first problem is that I think it would be pretty difficult to get a group of any size who all buy into the same world view and set of societal rules. Membership couldn't be just a 'come on and try it' without a lot of problems due to different expectation. I've seen quite a surprising amount of diversity on these permies threads, although we're mostly united on the permaculture thing. Failure to all buy into the same rules will lead to societal breakdown, which is where western society is currently heading pretty quick.

Among hunter/gatherer groups that I've read about there were and are a lot of blood-ties and a very homogeneous world view and what the rules of behavior are in each group. When a family goes from one band to another, they are usually going from one part of the extended family to another, and they all play by the same rules (not necessarily our societies rules).

Among basic rules I can think of:

if and when killing is moral,
when and if a couple should be viewed as exclusive and everyone else back off, (no one has ever been shot over this)
if and when a couple quit being a couple and are now on the market (no one has ever been shot for this either)
if a couple has a right to be exclusive (often one member thinks they have an understanding, and the other simply pays lip service. Recipe for broken hearts at best.)
exactly what belongs to individuals and what to the group,
how much support can an individual expect or demand from the group (when does the groups simply say, "dude, we can't handle you and your shit anymore, go somewhere else",
can you eat pork, or frog, or your dead neighbor for that matter,
what is your view on God(dess or gods or goddesses)
basic sanitation rules
basic privacy rules
childrearing
when childhood ends

I had an old fisherman tell me that if you messed with a mans family or his ability to provide for his family, all bets were off, because he would do anything to protect his family. Things can get emotional and intense pretty quick. That is the reason I focused more on pairing off rules and children.

A bunch of willing young adults can work together pretty well, if they can get the pairing off thing figured out. Once children come into the scenario, things change and get serious pretty quick, because now it really matters. Sickness, death, old age, imbicility, incontenance, hormonal teenagers, crippling injuries, boredom all put strains on people and a society and need to be addressed. It's a pretty massive undertaking for a group of non-homogenous strangers to address. We can only be on 'guest' behavior for so long before our real behavior starts coming out.

People act like these things are self-evident and everyone understands the rules, but every rule has someone who doesn't like it or thinks it shouldn't apply to their special case (everyone around them is probably thinking "dude, your case isn't special"). Whether you believe in a god or not, everyone has an effective religion, which is your gut deep belief in what's right and wrong and is an intrinsic part of your world view (and maybe other world view), and includes what you think is ok and what behavior is simply abhorrant and can't be tolerated. Those who think religion doesn't matter simply don't understand the power of deeply held beliefs to effect every persons actions.

I read that the Dakota and Black Feet were once a single people, but split bloodily over a disagreement on whether a man could marry his close relative (I think it was his sister).

The Apaches and Navajo were also a single people until they had a similar disagreement, which also ended in a bloody battle.

In Anchorage Ak, a large proportion of the street people are native, and a large proportion of them can't go home because their village (composed mostly of their relatives) has shunned them because they were creating too much havoc (usually due to drugs, alcohol or mental illness, how bad do you have to get before your extended family says, "you can't come home, ever"). Every individual and every society has the right to protect itself from the occasional bad apple.

The second problem is that not only are hunter/gatherer groups homogeneous in their own group on their world view and rules of behavior, but they also don't want outsiders in their 'hunting grounds', and often apposed intrusions violently.

A few years ago I was reading about an Athabaskan man in the newspaper in Anchorage, AK. He was credited with being the one that bridged the gap between two native groups, (Yupik and Athabaskan I think). As a young man he went down the river and was able to talk with a Yupik village (I think he and some of them spoke english, which helped a lot). Prior to this time, the two groups always killed any men from the other group they found. I believe he went down the river in the 1930s.

This problem isn't as tough as the first problem, but a feeling of 'us' is a long term natural result of group unity and relative isolation. It would have to be consciously addressed in order to prevent problems 10 years down the road.

 
Andrew Scott
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Hi Mick, thank you for your comments. Your message was posted while we were in a power/internet drought (which is often, really), and we are just now seeing it. My overall impression is that you believe we can create a perfect utopian situation. We don't believe this is possible. Our goal is not to create a perfect world, merely one that moves us as far toward peaks in well-being as we can.

I am currently traveling (and taking advantage of fast internet), and time is very limited. So I will provide a general statement that your examples cover a broad range of examples which are unreferenced. That's not a problem other than it makes it difficult to know which examples we're actually discussing so we may provide any kind of intelligent perspective. I will say that your interpretation of the anthropology of immediate-return hunter-gatherers does not match ours. A full elaboration of this would require more time and more information about your sources. With that said, please understand that this reply will necessarily be partial.

Mick Fisch wrote:...I think it would be pretty difficult to get a group of any size who all buy into the same world view and set of societal rules... Among hunter/gatherer groups that I've read about there were and are a lot of blood-ties and a  very homogeneous world view and what the rules of behavior are in each group. When a family goes from one band to another, they are usually going from one part of the extended family to another, and they all play by the same rules (not necessarily our societies rules).



Here's an article that provides an overview of the kind of cultures we have in mind. The subheading "Cultural Instability" seems like it would be more precise if it was "Cultural Variability", but it's close enough either way. From "Immediate-Return Societies: What Can They Tell Us About the Self and Social Relationships in Our Society?" by LEONARD L. MARTIN and STEVEN SHIRK

Cultural Instability
In a society that values equality as highly as immediate-return societies do, there can be no single, correct version of events or values. After all, if the values of one person are considered correct, then a different set of values held by another person must be incorrect. This dichotomy implies inequality, which is actively avoided in immediate-return societies.

The concrete result is that individuals in immediate-return societies have few verbalized rules of behavior, their rituals are highly variable (and may even be dispensed with altogether), and the individuals have no single, clear idea of a moral order  (Brunton, 1989).  Knowledge in immediate-return societies is idiosyncratic and gained by personal experience. It is not handed down by others. As one individual put it,  “None of us are quite sure of anything except of who and where we are at that particular moment” (quoted in Brunton, 1989).



Among hunting and gathering cultures, most rules seem to be relating to sharing and the avoidance of individuals attempting to maintain dominance. If you haven't yet, the linked article by Woodburn in the OP is worth a read.
 
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