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Joe Walker
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Ok this may sound odd but decided just had to write. I Am an avid hunter and fisherman that has been living in mainstream society for the entirety of my childhood and adult life. Yet as the years go by especially over the last 4 years in particular I have become increasingly unhappy and disinchanted with my life. To my wife, family and friends everything that I am writing would make absolutely no sense. They all believe that I am living a great life I.e. Job, property (house-cookie cutter subdivision home blahhhh;(. Car, etc etc. But truly none of it is what I want my heart for some reason resides in the wilderness. The only time that I find peace is while I am in the outdoors hunting or fishing. Which thanks to my job I only get to do if I'm lucky on the weekends. Currently selling my house and hoping to use that equity to buy land. BUT catch 22 is my significant others concept of what to do with that land and my ideas are on different ends of the spectrum. I am hoping to try and start a small farmstead/homestead. Yet on same token I've also been considering just dropping off the grid completely Starting a new way of life based on hunter-gatherer lifestyle.i know that life is to short to not live life to the fullest and to find happiness. But to completely change my lifestyle whether it's starting a homestead or drifting as a hunter-gatherer both Come with a ton of questions and honestly fear. I apologize if I am rambling but decided to just throw it all out there to see if anyone had any feedback.
 
Tyler Ludens
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This resonates with me tremendously. I've been interested in these ideas and feelings since childhood, when I read "My Side of the Mountain" by Jean George, and then solidified later when I read books by Daniel Quinn and essays by Jason Godesky.

There was a group for awhile known as the Bison Band who lived as a nomadic tribe. It was a tough life for them, sometimes they had to do things like eat roadkill to survive. I think they finally settled somewhere and then I lost track of them. I hope they are okay.

Look into Rewilding for these ideas. Not the rewilding that talks about reestablishing elephants in North America, but the rewilding of humans.

I think permaculture is a good place to be for these feelings, because, going full hunter-gatherer is nearly impossible now with most land being owned by somebody. Maybe your significant other can do their part of the land their way, and you do your part your way. If they want to farm, let them, let them see how much fun it is working 16 hours a day when you, as a hunter-gatherer, only have to work 4 hours a day. I like to think they will quickly change their mind to prefer your ideas. I think permaculture can provide a hunter-gatherer-style life without requiring the large territories those folks often have. Because permaculture is so work and space efficient, you can be hunting and gathering your entire diet in a very short period of time, if you have land in an area with year-round hunting of some animals (as for instance there's year-round hunting of delicious deer where I am). Or if necessary you can raise some animals in a semi-wild manner (chickens in a food forest, for instance).

https://theanarchistlibrary.org/library/jason-godesky-thirty-theses

http://www.rewild.com/

http://www.lynxvilden.com/
 
Joseph Lofthouse
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To me, a tribe has more to do with who I hang out with than it does with how we source our food. The tribe is that group of people with whom there is such a deep web of shared experience, mutual indebtedness, and common values, that when there is trouble, or joy, or food, or need, or whatever, it's the tribe that we share it with.
 
Tyler Ludens
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Here are some more folks about walking away from civilization:

http://www.urbanscout.org/

http://www.derrickjensen.org/ Jensen is coming from a place of abuse, and his writings can be painful and difficult. Just FYI.

 
John Weiland
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@Joe L: " The tribe is that group of people with whom there is such a deep web of shared experience, mutual indebtedness, and common values, that when there is trouble, or joy, or food, or need, or whatever, it's the tribe that we share it with."

I agree with Joe on this and yet will note it's not easily re-created. I think Daniel Quinn has written about trying to do so and it's good writing for stimulating thought, but it's hard to do *just* on common values and interests and tends to involve blood relations. Borrowing from Tyler L's library source, one favorite is https://theanarchistlibrary.org/library/paul-shepard-nature-and-madness and another being Jean Liedloff's "The Continuum Concept", the latter about being dropped into a South American jungle with the Yequana tribe. But I think a middle ground can be found between your spouse's interests and yours. I guess from experience, I've seen far fewer people leave the country to go back to the city than the other way around. So if there is a rural paradigm in which she and you, respectively, can find your comfort zones, she may also warm enough to it to not desire a return to the 'burbs.
 
Tyler Ludens
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Joe Walker wrote:The only time that I find peace is while I am in the outdoors hunting or fishing.


I was looking at this and thinking about it some more. Myself, I love the outdoors but I'm not a farmer. It took me awhile to figure that out. I like gardening, but I don't like farming as I see it in my locale (big flat fields of one crop - oats- or another - sorghum). I have no interest in "fields of crops" or herds of livestock (I have a herd of sheep but decided they are not something I want to continue). My husband is even less interested in farming than I am, but he loves nature and wants to live in it. Our house is so in the trees it's practically a treehouse, and I sometimes think the only difference between our house and the outdoors is there are slightly fewer bugs in the house and it doesn't rain in there. Also, somewhat less wind in the house. Most of our land is devoted to native plants and wildlife. Eventually I hope to reestablish as many kinds of edible native plants here as possible. If I were a hunter I could easily get more meat than I could eat here. So maybe you can find a place like that, where you can forage and hunt for your food.
 
Joseph Lofthouse
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I remember how disconcerting it was for me when I realized that I had inadvertently become part of a tribe: Not one that I was born into, and not family, but a tribe of my own choosing. I chaffed at the sense of duty that came along with the realization. I rejoice in the sense of belonging. These days the mutual-indebtedness is a blessing. Wishing that I would have been able to pay the price as a dumb kid, instead of as an old man.

 
Tyler Ludens
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Forest garden:


It's my personal belief that I need to bring "wilderness" to me, rather than myself going out into the wilderness (there are already plenty of folks there - bears, wolves, cougar, etc)

Content minimized. Click to view
 
Bryant RedHawk
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Joe Walker wrote:Ok this may sound odd but decided just had to write. I Am an avid hunter and fisherman that has been living in mainstream society for the entirety of my childhood and adult life. Yet as the years go by especially over the last 4 years in particular I have become increasingly unhappy and disinchanted with my life. To my wife, family and friends everything that I am writing would make absolutely no sense. They all believe that I am living a great life I.e. Job, property (house-cookie cutter subdivision home blahhhh;(. Car, etc etc. But truly none of it is what I want my heart for some reason resides in the wilderness. The only time that I find peace is while I am in the outdoors hunting or fishing. Which thanks to my job I only get to do if I'm lucky on the weekends. Currently selling my house and hoping to use that equity to buy land. BUT catch 22 is my significant others concept of what to do with that land and my ideas are on different ends of the spectrum. I am hoping to try and start a small farmstead/homestead. Yet on same token I've also been considering just dropping off the grid completely Starting a new way of life based on hunter-gatherer lifestyle.i know that life is to short to not live life to the fullest and to find happiness. But to completely change my lifestyle whether it's starting a homestead or drifting as a hunter-gatherer both Come with a ton of questions and honestly fear. I apologize if I am rambling but decided to just throw it all out there to see if anyone had any feedback.


The good old disenchantment with "civilized living".
First thing to do would be to make darn sure you will actually be comfortable with out 1. your cell phone, 2.reliable automobile, 3.solid roof over your head, 4. steady income source and all that allows you to do/have.
Second thing to do is determine if you are really willing to go through a divorce, if your wife doesn't want to change life styles, this event is going to be inevitable and costly most likely. If you have children, are you ready to not see them?

I've known people who jumped off the deep end with out being able to swim well, it tends to not work out so well, mostly because they didn't really know what they were jumping into.
I have friends that live as you fantasize about living, it is without a doubt a harder life style, definitely not for the rookie who is used to comforts.

My wife and I live the homestead life by careful choice, we do not have a huge group of friends, in fact we have so few that we only need one hand to count them all.
We like our solitude, our children are grown and have their own children and it has been nearly 11 years since we have seen them, and most likely it will be many more years before we see them. (they live in Canada)
Major life style changes are hard to stick with, it not only takes determination it also takes the ability to walk away from comforts most take for granted and love not having those comforts.
It also helps a lot to not be attached to material things, for us, we both had lost everything at least once and we realize that stuff is just stuff and it can go away in a heart beat.

I am not trying to discourage you from making the change, but I will encourage you to really think it through and do lots of research so you are fully prepared prior to jumping off the cliff.

Even if you do, you will not find bliss eternal, there will be many tribulations on the journey. If you aren't totally prepared for them, they will wear you down and eventually break your spirit.
 
Tyler Ludens
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Here's a video which discusses the problems of civilization, how we got here, and what we can do about it, with permaculture. Very long video discussing the concept of "civilization" from an anthropological point of view, and how civilization (the anthropological definition) is not a good idea for the well-being of humans and other living creatures at the scale it has become, and what permaculture can do about these problems.

toby hemenway - How Permaculture Can Save Humanity and the Earth, but Not Civilization

 
S Bengi
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You married so you have to compromise. If you are lucky you can build your house cash, prepay for electric via solar, do your own water, sewer and meat/milk production on site and only have a few expense like medical, communication and transportation. With that you could get a 3 month gig and for the next 9 month. Forage in the state parks near you from 9-5 like it is your job. That sounds like a nice 4 year goal to me
 
Deb Rebel
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Posting to revive the thread...

I get to forage for a meal for self for about 7 months of the year now. Not as varied as I'd like it. It is steadily improving as I improve my garden and food forest. I also use cold frames and solar/in ground heat tape heated hoop houses to extend my season. (I m at 6b, barely). This year I'm going to reach for 9 plus months of at least supplementing my diet, if not sustaining myself. I have hunted, fished, and foraged in the past, just that I am willing to spend time gardening to also produce my food. Not 'farming' where there is a huge field of some crop but some more intensive plant husbandry than a 'food forest'. I do have some 'food forest' building, with plantings of perennials, but. It will take a combo to feed this woman. I'm ready for the challenge.
 
Inge Leonora-den Ouden
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Joe Walker wrote:Ok this may sound odd but decided just had to write. I Am an avid hunter and fisherman ... I have become increasingly unhappy and disinchanted with my life. To my wife, family and friends everything that I am writing would make absolutely no sense. ... The only time that I find peace is while I am in the outdoors hunting or fishing. ... my significant others concept of what to do with that land and my ideas are on different ends of the spectrum. I am hoping to try and start a small farmstead/homestead.  Yet on same token I've also been considering just dropping off the grid completely Starting a new way of life based on hunter-gatherer lifestyle.i know that life is to short to not live life to the fullest and to find happiness. But to completely change my lifestyle whether it's starting a homestead or drifting as a hunter-gatherer both Come with a ton of questions and honestly fear.  ...

Hi Joe. You really have a huge problem there! You want something, you already started working that way, but ... you are not alone. You have a family (at least a wife) to take in consideration. They have no idea about the farm/homestead/hunter-gatherer way of life! Probably they are completely happy where they are now, while you have your job, etc.
My first advice to you is: take some time off (vacation), spend that time with your wife (and children?) and talk with them about this idea you tell us here. Listen to their reactions, Try to understand them. I hope they'll try to understand you too. Do your best together to 'design' a plan for the future in which you can all be happy (more happy than you are now)
 
Mick Fisch
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I can emphathize with your problem.  When my wife and I got married my idea of property was 40 acres minimum (you ought to be able to pee off your front porch without worrying about the neighbors), hers was a tiny lot in a california subdivision with neighbors everywhere.  Over the years her vision has moved way closer to mine, while mine has shrunk some, realizing I wouldn't know what to do with so much land since I'm less interested in farming. (although I still want the space, being next to public land could work).  I've have felt like a wage slave much of my life, but it helped that I personally felt I had a mission from God, (to quote the Blues Brothers).  It was to get a large household of kids properly raised and out on their own as reasonably happy, well adjusted, productive members of society.  Although I'm not sure if that job is ever completely done.  (I have 11 1/2 grandkids and I think my dad is of the opinion that I'm growing up fine, just not quite there yet).  As I see myself a couple of years from completing the kids in the house phase of my life, I am studying, fantisizing, doing research, experimenting as I look towards my next phase of life,  (I'm hoping occasional part time work/ permaculture/ mixed orchard/ food forest/ hunter/ gatherer).  My wife is excited about it, but also concerned about how we will get by with a greatly reduced income (security again).  She asked me how we would manage it.  I told her maybe she should plan on getting a job to support me in the style I'ld like to be accustomed to.  That joke fell pretty flat!  Keep a sense of humor about this anyway.  It's an adventure!

Arrange something where the two of you can have several hours uninterrupted (I have a drs appt every month or so with a 6 hour round trip.  The time stuck in the car together has been a blessing for my wife and I because we just talk) and try to find out what each of you want and what you're afraid of with the other persons dream.  Realize that the dream may shift slightly, but the person is someone you said you wanted to be with forever.  Relationships are important. 

I am going to stereotype here (forgive me ladies), but most women tend to be very security oriented.  I can imagine a woman seeing a hunter/gatherer lifestyle as insecure.  She would see that it was great when your young, healthy, everything was ripe and there was lots of meat, less so during an icestorm in January, your low on food/fuel and you're old/sick/injured and your baby is screaming with an ear infection or worse.  You and your wife may not be as far apart as you initially think you are.  (my wife and I weren't, we eventually realized.  It was just suburban life was all she had known and she was cautious about jumping into something new).  Actually her caution has been good for us because Ialways want to jump in and figure it out along the way.  As I've learned to listen to and address her concerns my success rate in things I attempt has gone up.  Her adventurousness has also slowly increased as my attitudes have infected her.

If the two of you can come to an agreement of some sort (maybe part time work/ permaculture/ food forest/ hunter/ gatherer with a central home base) then it may take a few years to realize it, but at least you'll see a light at the end of the tunnel.  Additionally, the time will be easier because you will be actively learning the skills you will need, experimentation (it's a lot better to know how to smoke fish before you have 200 lbs of fish laying to the table), and to find the place you want to make your home base.  This will probably put you both outside a lot more also.  Your vision may adjust as you try and succeed/ fail.  That's ok.  If it doesn't then you are either nearly prescient or way too focused and not flexible enough.  Depending on where you are, hunting/gathering can be a pretty reliable food source (i.e. a Louisiana swamp or along an Alaskan salmon stream).  It may not be as varied as you would like though, many of the guys I knew growing up weren't that crazy about salmon after eating it year in, year out, several times a week.  When I was growing up in Alaska, I knew a lot of homesteading families.  The three legs of the diet were potatos, salmon and moose, blue berry picking in the fall, raspberries/salmon berries when they were in season and fiddle heads in the spring, so I guess there was a fair amount of hunter/gatherer. 

Personally, I would want to at least get into a library about once a week to get reading material and get my internet fix.

As far as a tribe, start small.  One or two other couples maybe at first.  A bunch of strangers coming together expecting to live together in harmony long term is usually a recipe for trouble.


 
Bryant RedHawk
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Joe Walker wrote:Ok this may sound odd but decided just had to write. I Am an avid hunter and fisherman that has been living in mainstream society for the entirety of my childhood and adult life.  Yet as the years go by especially over the last 4 years in particular I have become increasingly unhappy and disinchanted with my life. To my wife, family and friends everything that I am writing would make absolutely no sense. They all believe that I am living a great life I.e. Job, property (house-cookie cutter subdivision home blahhhh;(. Car, etc etc. But truly none of it is what I want my heart for some reason resides in the wilderness. The only time that I find peace is while I am in the outdoors hunting or fishing. Which thanks to my job I only get to do if I'm lucky on the weekends. Currently selling my house and hoping to use that equity to buy land. BUT catch 22 is my significant others concept of what to do with that land and my ideas are on different ends of the spectrum. I am hoping to try and start a small farmstead/homestead.  Yet on same token I've also been considering just dropping off the grid completely Starting a new way of life based on hunter-gatherer lifestyle.i know that life is to short to not live life to the fullest and to find happiness. But to completely change my lifestyle whether it's starting a homestead or drifting as a hunter-gatherer both Come with a ton of questions and honestly fear.  I apologize if I am rambling but decided to just throw it all out there to see if anyone had any feedback.


hau Joe Walker, Several have approached your post as a "Tribal way of life", but it sounds to me like you want a more "Jeremiah Johnson" type of life style.

I have not been a "mountain man" but I do know two contemporary men who live this life style by choice, both turned to this life choice after returning from Vietnam and they still live the secluded mountain man life by choice, and they are comfortable with it.

There are some differences between the "homestead life" and the "Hunter-gatherer life". Both can be done and are being done by people. I think the first thing one needs for such a drastic change of life style is resolve and liking being alone.

It is a hard life choice to go nomadic, but there are many ways to do so. Most of the nomads I know do this via motor home, traveling all around the country. But they do get interaction with others when they stop and park, since usually they are in either a camp ground or RV park,
The two friends I have that are living the Mountain man life have no wives, children or live in friends. They prefer to be solitary and have gone to great lengths to be so.

I hope you and your companion can find a good middle ground and that it includes you finding what you really want.

Redhawk

 
Inge Leonora-den Ouden
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I am not a hunter, nor a farmer. I am a gardener, a gatherer and I like experiments. My plan is to 'rewild' myself, to build dams and huts again, in the way I did as a child, to live on a diet of whatever edible I can find growing (in or outside the garden).
I am glad I am now the only person I am responsible for. But part of my plan is to be 'member' of a 'tribe' of likeminded people. We won't live in the same house or be together all the time, but there will be some kind of co-operation/ co-laboration. So we'll help eachother when there's something one person can't do alone. In my mind that's the most important meaning of a 'tribe'.
(sorry, English is not my first language)
 
Inge Leonora-den Ouden
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Mick Fisch wrote: ... I am going to stereotype here (forgive me ladies), but most women tend to be very security oriented.  I can imagine a woman seeing a hunter/gatherer lifestyle as insecure. ...

btw I am a woman ... probably I am not a stereotype.
 
Tyler Ludens
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Inge Leonora-den Ouden wrote:
Mick Fisch wrote: ... I am going to stereotype here (forgive me ladies), but most women tend to be very security oriented.  I can imagine a woman seeing a hunter/gatherer lifestyle as insecure. ...

btw I am a woman ... probably I am not a stereotype.


Historically, hunter-gatherers were more secure and suffered less famine than agriculturists.  I would feel very secure in a true hunter-gatherer life which by definition would include a band (tribe) of supportive friends and family.
 
John Weiland
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Tyler Ludens wrote:
Historically, hunter-gatherers were more secure and suffered less famine than agriculturists.  I would feel very secure in a true hunter-gatherer life which by definition would include a band (tribe) of supportive friends and family.


I'm hoping others like Bryant R. and then some may weigh in on this concept of tribal success.  Strictly from reading alone, it seems that 2 important ingredients to tribe success was a mixture of blood and non-blood relations along with observant wisdom from tribal elders on what maintains harmony among tribal members.  Seems that anything that might disrupt tribal harmony was dealt with deeply, but expediently.  I bring this up because it just seems that many attempts at intentional community will be bumping up against the question of "how to resolve discord?" at one point or another.  My true concern would be "Is it even possible to replicate the tribal paradigm when all/most members are not blood related and the mechanism to produce tribal elders/leaders is not high priority or is in some way flawed?"   And yes, I understand that the best case scenario may take a few generations to settle into.

Tyler, it's the one area of Daniel Quinn's 'new' tribal approach that I find a bit tenuous.....if the social climate feels 'forced', I'm not sure how well it would work.

@Inge L.dO.: "sorry, English is not my first language"

And yet I have to laugh:  When I was taking German in college, we looked to the Dutch and Iranian students in the class to correct our English, such is the state of American education!....
 
Tyler Ludens
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John Weiland wrote:
Tyler, it's the one area of Daniel Quinn's 'new' tribal approach that I find a bit tenuous.....if the social climate feels 'forced', I'm not sure how well it would work.


I think shared worldview and shared means of making a living (see Quinn's Beyond Civilization)  may be the key to this.  I agree with you that if it feels forced to those attempting it, it will probably fail.  I also agree that extended families or existing groups of friends are likely to be more successful than random strangers thrown together.  Elders may naturally arise from extended family (grandparents) and friends (older friends).  We see these kinds of elders arising even here in the "community" of permies.

One thing I almost never see is any mention of how folks will make a living in an intentional community.  Most seem to have no going business concern nor any plans for money-making activities.

 
Bryant RedHawk
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Great observations John.  I will speak about what tribal means to me. First I will say this, I consider all the members of permies.com as relations, also known as Oyate, that is part of my extended family and relations.
Some of these members are also considered kola (friend).
Some here I consider as Oyasin (relations), but all people of all the earth are Mitakuye Oyasin (we are all related, the creator made us all so is this not so?)

I think I can speak a bit on Tribes perhaps even with a decent knowledge base of what makes them successful. 

The people, (Nakota is my nation, which is part of the 7 Sioux nations), in any singular tribe are not just a tribe, they also make up a nation because of many tribes being part of the nation.
It might be thought of as: A Nation, (such as Sioux, which is comprised of Lakota Sioux, Dakota Sioux, Nakota Sioux) Within the Lakota There are; Ogalala ("they scatter their own," or "dust scatterers"), Sicangu or Brule ("Burnt Thighs"), Hunkpapa ("end of the circle"), Miniconjou ("planters beside the stream"),
Sihasapa or Blackfoot (confused with the separate Blackfoot tribe), Itazipacola (or Sans Arcs: "without bows"), Oohenupa ("Two Boilings" or "Two Kettle").
Within the Dakota There are; Mdewakantonwon , Wahpeton , Wahpekute, Sisseton.
Within the Nakota There are;  Yankton, Upper Yanktonai,  Lower Yanktonai, Hohe (Assiniboine or Assiniboin) so my oyasin know, I am of the Hohe.
These all make up the great Sioux Nation.


A Tribe; comprising usually of two (or more) bands and possibly two (or more) sub-divisions of those bands.
A band is usually blood related and sub-divisions of a band would be connected by marriages to two different bands or sub-divisions.
If a band was large enough, they might travel and live separate from the "Tribe" for parts of the year so there was less hunting pressure in any part of the land.

We traveled as single tribes / bands except for certain times of the year when many tribes gathered together for ceremonies and on occasion Tatanka hunts.
It is true that tribal peoples help each other out when there is need.
The people also work together but women do things that men do not do; women plant, harvest, process game and hides, sew to make lodges and clothing.. Men hunt, protect the village, make weapons, capture horses and care for them. 
A Family has parts; there is immediate family, extended family and relations. Relations may or may not share a blood line.
The immediate family is: mother & father, their children and the grand parents.
There may be one lodge for all to share or several lodges (this depends on the age and needs of the grandparents or if the children are older).
If there are brothers and sisters of the mother and father, then they will live in lodges that are placed close to each other for the purpose of supporting each other.
Distant Cousins are considered part of the extended family and may live in the family group too (all together this would comprise a band or maybe a sub-band).
Then there are relations, this is usually all the members of the tribe that are not related by blood but they are considered relations since the tribe acts as one large family.

BTW, a chief is not for life, nor is it a dynasty family, when a chief is found to be lacking ability, they are replaced by the people selecting the one they perceive as best suited to the job.
It is more about the family than it is the individual, yet all have the same voice when it is time to select chief and elders.

If you want to become tribal, then you need a group that is more about the whole people than the family.
Tribal means you (the individual) have importance but not as much as the family proper or the family extended or the band or the tribe.
The good of the people (as a whole) comes first and you don't even have to think, it is what is right.

Within a tribe there are different jobs to be filled and carried out with specific duties for the good of the whole.
The Nation chief is liken to the president, he has under him Tribal chiefs they are part of his council.
There are elders, wise people who are also part of the council and represent the people of their sub-band or band or tribe.
There are holy men/ women, then there are healers then there are those who hold the knowledge of medicine.
There is no such person as a "medicine man" or shaman as most people seem to think.

One of the things I have always failed to understand is; how people can treat others so poorly simply because of some trait their genetic makeup expresses.
We are all one people, Human. (everyone bleeds red blood and grows old) There are four colors of man; Red, Black, White, and Yellow, these are also the sacred colors of the four directions.
To treat others differently or without respect only shows how little those that do this understand about themselves.

To be able to create a tribe, one would need to learn to be self-less and view all as equals.

Redhawk

 
John Weiland
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@Bryant R.--Thanks for this condensed, yet intricate outline of inter- and intra-tribal relations....I'm going to copy and paste this to put elsewhere for when I'm in discussions with others about the different cultural approaches to living.

You noted "One of the things I have always failed to understand is; how people can treat others so poorly simply because of some trait their genetic makeup expresses.  We are all one people, Human. (everyone bleeds red blood and grows old).  To treat others differently or without respect only shows how little those that do this understand about themselves."

I grew up firmly embedded in the Western European (yet American immigrant) culture.  One of the things that really impressed upon me from the start from reading about American indigenous cultures was the concept of "Once we could speak with and married among the animals...."  If I'm misrepresenting that notion, please correct me.  In other words, when you say "We are one people, Human", I agree but also was fascinated by the notion of 'people' being extended through the mythology of the different cultures, to include animals.....bear people, beaver people, raven people, etc.  Again, correct me if I'm misusing the notion.  [Intriguingly and FWIW, just as much nuclear physics developed over that past century arrived at conclusions that at least appeared to parallel concepts of the universe envisioned through eastern mysticism, so to have the 'tree of life' DNA sequencing projects of the past few decades revealed remarkable conservation of certain genes and gene clusters across animals, from humans on through to single-cell organisms.]

What one then realizes is the somewhat diametric opposition of Western "separate and categorize" world-view with the "individuated yet unified" world view of many indigenous cultures.  Both have their strengths and weaknesses, but a distinct strength of "we are ALL (animals, plants, earth, water) related and interdependent" world-view is that one will by default be less inclined to point to things saying "superior" or conversely "inferior" and make sweeping and sometimes disastrously destructive decisions based on that judgement call.

At the risk of getting a bit too cider-pressy, those within one's own expression of genetic make-up would, throughout time, come to show no reservation at treating even 'like' brother and sister poorly through slavery and oppression. With the categorization of superior versus inferior already firmly in place, how much easier then to look at some other human that looks 'different' or some other part of creation and come up with the arbitrary label of 'inferior' and treat it in a denigrating way.  To bring into any attempt at intentional community the concept/ethic of "we are all of this earth and responsible for maintaining its and our wellbeing" (my apologies...poorly summarized on the spot of the moment) and raise the generations to come with a greater appreciation for that ethic would go a long ways I sense toward tapping into the success that tribes once enjoyed.

HA!!>>"To be able to create a tribe, one would need to learn to be self-less and view all as equals. "---When I refreshed my browser screen, I saw this last line...completely agree.
 
nancy sutton
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I've read of at least two occasions where social bonds between insiders and outsiders were only formed when everyone was working on a shared project (i.e., one was an 'English' visitor working on a barnraising).  I think that in a real tribe, everyone is needed for everyone to survive.   That kind of need doesn't exist in our atomized, wage-slave society... at least, not yet ;)   BTW, there's a book put out by Dimtry Orlov's impress '150 Strong' about optimal size of human social units, per historic anthropolotical studies.
 
Tyler Ludens
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Known as "Dunbar's Number."    http://www.cracked.com/article_14990_what-monkeysphere.html
 
E Cochran
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I too really love to be in the wilderness. That's where I'm happy. I dreamed about it for years and years and finally have land now ... so I understand that longing. But the one thing I've seen happen with others I've known who thought they were only happy in the wilderness is that what they were really happy with was the break from routine, the break from the job, and those thoughts were intensified while they were out hunting and fishing on breaks. Once they moved out of the city, away from their steady jobs, most of them fell apart.

I was always told that if I really wanted to homestead that I needed to do as much as I could where I was with what I had ... so I started raising chickens and rabbits and goats and I grew more and more of our own food every year. Any vacation time was spent in a tent, cooking over a fire, without cell reception. Over 20 years I learned the skills I needed to be living on my land. Do I love raising chickens?? No. I don't like being tied to having animals to care for ... but it is part of how I can be self-sufficient so I compromise.

I guess maybe you're talking about something even more wilderness than that though ... foraging for everything, hunting for all your meat, being nomadic even maybe? But you honestly won't be hunting all the time. How many deer or elk can one family eat in a year?

Anyway ... I wish you luck with whatever you pursue. Following your heart is not always the easiest of paths.
 
Joseph Lofthouse
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It seems to me that hunting/gathering may not necessarily be related to living tribally. Living horticulturally doesn't seem incompatible with living tribally. I really want to participate in this thread, and make observations about the inadvertent tribal community that is coalescing in my area. Sharing seeds is taking most of my attention right now. I hope to contribute more before spring.
 
Inge Leonora-den Ouden
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This topic is becoming more and more interesting (i.m.o.)! But there is a problem with it: the topic starter talks about different subjects. And so the answers are going in different directions. The subjects are:
- hunting and gathering as a way of life
- being part of a 'tribe'
- not having the same opinion as the rest of the family (or 'tribe')

Of course everything is related. That's the base, that's why there is Permaculture in the first place. But 'related' does not mean that these three are all 'the same'. It's more like three 'circles' which each overlap a small part of the other, and there's one very small part where they overlap all three (I hope you understand this without a drawing).

The 'tribe' subject I find the most interesting, being 'western European', part of 'subcultures' all of my life, interested in 'the history of ordinary people' also all of my life, but never in contact with real 'tribe life'. As a child I had a series of books on 'the Chinese', 'the Egyptians', 'the Greek', 'the Romans', 'the Indians' ... (I don't know if there were more). These illustrated books told about the daily life of those (ancient or historical) peoples. During my life (I am 60 now) I read many books on related subjects from the library (I never remember the titles and authors, sorry). Of course such books do not give a complete view, they are not 'science'. But I ask myself: is this a subject really researched, in detail and from the right point of view, by 'science'? In fact it might even be impossible to do such research....
You can't find what people were thinking, what they were talking about, etc. ... by looking at the archeological artefacts they left ...
If you want to know what people think and talk about ... you have to interview them! But how to interview people from the past

It is nice to have at least some people here on Permies who really are part of a 'tribe'! But I think the way 'tribes' function changes throughout time, depending on circumstances. I think there must be an enormous difference between how it is now and how it was before European people came and changed everything in America!

In the way I view Permaculture (permanent culture, a way of life) part of it is to find a new form of 'tribal living'. A totally new form, I mean, based on Permaculture principles. I think this way of life will need time and efforts to develop. I am glad I see this development started already. F.e. here in the Netherlands there is a project called 'Meenderij' (from a word in English best described as 'Commons'), which is mostly meant to find a new way of doing things together in a Permaculture way (and without being too much dependant of the 'money society').

Maybe this is a subject for a different topic, because it isn't an answer to the question of the topic starter (is he still here anyway?)
 
Tyler Ludens
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Joseph Lofthouse wrote:It seems to me that hunting/gathering may not necessarily be related to living tribally. Living horticulturally doesn't seem incompatible with living tribally.


Most hunter-gatherers were horticulturists in that they tended and nurtured patches of edible wild plants.

http://kennysideshow.blogspot.com/2008/05/agriculture-or-permaculture-why-words.html
 
Bryan Paul
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I wanted to echo a few things that Bryant R and others mentioned, and add my own thoughts:

Are you prepared for consequences that any major changes will have for your relationship?

A tribe can mean a lot of things, what sort of relationship are you looking to fill? 

I haven't seen things end well for those that jump into transitions too fast.
Paul has his Wheaton Scale, and moving from one end to the other immediately is going to appear/be pretty crazy.

To start with, I think it's important to disengage from those things that making you unhappy, and see if that changes your perspective on things.
For instance, trying a different job, and/or home is a good start.  If you are feeling trapped by that economic machine, something in that cycle needs to change.
You may find that find that you don't even need to work full time, hopefully in a job you enjoy, if you live somewhere that doesn't cost much.  This could leave you a lot more time to hunt/fish, and may fulfill that need for you without sacrificing everything that makes your wife happy.
A good resource for this sort of information is in the books by Jeff Yeager "The Cheapskate Next Door" and "The Cheapskates Guide to Retirement".

If that sort of life still seems unfulfilling, another possible intermediate step is Rubber Tramping.  Selling everything but a van or RV and going wherever the wind blows you.  Bob Wells has a Youtube channel(https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCAj7O3LCDbkIR54hAn6Zz7A) that has lots of good information about this lifestyle, including good seasonal jobs that will allow you to live the rest of the year on couple weeks/month worth of income.  He interviews lots of people with different gear setups, backgrounds, and financial plans so you may get inspired by the way that someone does things, even if they don't have their own channels.  One nice thing that comes with this lifestyle is a sort of tribe.  A few of Bob's videos shows a get together for a Rubber Tramp Rendezvous that ended recently in Quartzite, AZ.

Just a word of warning.  I testing out going "Full Native" in my youth and got in trouble pretty fast with trespassing, taking animals out of season, etc.  I'm pretty sure you'll find fulfillment with something in-between Suburban living and Hunter-gatherer.
 
nancy sutton
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Thanks, Inge, for the introduction to Meenderij.  I'm checking it out (with translation :)... so good to see it happening in a different culture.  Although, the Dutch culture has always been more 'open arms and open minds ' than many, I think.
 
Inge Leonora-den Ouden
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nancy sutton wrote:Thanks, Inge, for the introduction to Meenderij.  I'm checking it out (with translation :)... so good to see it happening in a different culture.  Although, the Dutch culture has always been more 'open arms and open minds ' than many, I think.

thank you Nancy, but I don't think the 'Dutch culture' in general is more open than any other culture ... It's only a very small group trying out new things, while most people think they're crazy (sounds familiar?)
 
Pamela Smith
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Joe this might be a bit lengthy but here it goes. Suggestions and advice from someone living close to the lifestyle you talked about. Many good points were brought up. First is gathering info on what you want and how to compromise so your family is on board.

A bit bout me, a women in her 50's married to a 70 year old. Move to our homestead 4.5 years ago. We are off grid but we have power, cell and internet. Going totally off grid is not a choice. Family is important to us so we want to be able to keep in touch.
I went from a city girl to living off grid and have been studying permaculture, soil ammendments and sustainability for 3.5 years. The benefit of having the net at home. We have a solar system and generator back up. Very economical system because we built our home with off grid living in mind. I can go into lots of tips but that is not what you are asking.

We lived in a prospector tent for 8 months while we cleared the land and built the frame of our home to move into it. We build as we can afford. Which brings up a very valid point, how will you support this lifestyle and can you really make the switch?
We went to having a nice home with everything at our finger tips and 5K a month to having no plumbing, wood heat etc. Living on my husband's pension of only 1500 a month. Our saving grace is everything is paid for. These are the 2 biggest issues. How to support it and can you and your family handle the switch? My husband and I were both on board and believed in the lifestyle so it was an easy decision for us.

We live about 20 min from town which was good because of going to town for supplies on a regular bases until most everything was established. Living close to a town allows someone or both to work part time because some kind of income is needed. Maybe work from home? Can you build in a way that does not put you heavy in debt to make for an easier transition and make it more affordable to give up the lifestyle you and your family have become accustomed too?

It can be fun looking for a place to live. learning some basic permaculture ideas, gardening, etc. Let me tell you once you bring in chickens and have a garden the deer and elk come to you and it makes for easy hunting. lol So much can go together.

As for the tribe to me the best tribe if it was ever possible, is to have families/people living next door to each other to form a small community. Each with their own land doing their own thing. So everyone has privacy. People can focus on their specialties and barter/trade. So you can do your hunting, fishing, and gathering. Chickens maybe and a garden? Trade with others who might have skills or things you need. Today we are spread so thin doing everything for ourselves it becomes so overwhelming. People can share in canning, dehydrating, harvesting, sewing, knitting, carpentry whatever. Maybe a place to buy has a few neighbours that have the same ideas?

Anyway, just some ideas to think about. Keep us posted on what you decide to do.We both love our place and want to stay with this lifestyle til death do us part. It is the only true way to live and is well worth it. Much good luck.
 
Jen Fan
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Many good responses here!  I think a large number of people resonate with your feelings, myself included.

From the time I was 6 I've had the same goal, passion, and dream; living wild.  Unfortunately it's not something most of us can do alone.  We ALL have out limitations in some form or other, we ALL have shortcomings, that's why community is so important.   Community takes acceptance and selflessness though, which is hard to come by in our society's culture.

I just posted about seeking community- my heart feels as yours does, but most folks think I'm crazy.  I accept that I may never fulfill my inner nomad's lust for the wild beyond, but to at least be living in it and be working with the land feel like the least I can settle for!
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