ABSTRACT

Most of the population data that can conveniently serve as a comparative framework for looking at !Kung fertility are from large populations of industrialized or agricultural peoples. Anthropologists have prepared reports on the demographic functioning of some peoples who are closer to the !Kung in societal complexity and economic organization, but unfortunately many of these studies involve complex problems in data and conceptual organization that would require considerable methodological discussion prior to comparisons. For our purposes, the literature from demography, which uses the conceptual framework adopted in the !Kung study, and especially from historical demography, provides a convenient comparative framework to identify the features of !Kung fertility performance that are distinctive. The many ways in which the !Kung are simply like all other people studied, conforming to the general human pattern, can also be recognized.