Targeting firearms: Effects of the Introduction of New Technologies on Traditional Tsimane’ Hunting in Bolivian Amazonia

Date and Time: 
Friday, 18 March, 2016 - 13:30
, Armando - Washington State University

For decades, firearms have been replacing the traditional implements used in Amazonian hunting. Studies highlight the widespread preference for firearms due to their superior efficacy over traditional tools. For the Tsimane’ people, hunting is one of the main subsistence activities. Most hunters use firearms, but Tsimane’ from the villages of San Luis Chico and Cuchisama continue to use bows and arrows while hunting. Through a process of reflection and discussion, villagers identified the widespread use of firearms as a negative cultural change. Results reveal the overall preference for traditional implements over firearms in criteria such as monetary cost, quietness and cultural identity. Despite this preference, younger generations are not hunting with bows and arrows, nor fabricating them. This study aims to analyze the preference for traditional implements in two villages and evaluate the effect that firearms are having on the Tsimane’ culture as seen from the local (emic) perspective.