Tribe (This forum is retired. All topics are read-only.) > Real-life Na'vi Tribe

Devil's Advocate and All the Bad Stuff.

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Rolyu:
Now, I'm expecting to get smited for this by someone, but please don't take offense to this next topic.  You are all very excited about living as a tribe, and you have a lot of good ideas.  I just get the feeling there are going to be some people who don't know exactly what they're getting into.  For that reason, I am going to play the devil's advocate to this tribe idea.  Not to make you feel bad, or discourage you, but to make you think.  I want you guys to know all of the reasons why humans live the way we do in the first place.  You will be living a beautiful lifestyle as a tribe, but a hard one.  So think about these things as you make your preparations.

My experience:
     I grew up in a variety of different situations, and frankly, have had the best of both worlds.  I lived mostly with my Mother, out in the middle of nowhere, and learned about hard work, hunting, growing things, farming, respect for nature and how to be self-sufficient.  I spent a lot of time with my Dad, however, who has lived in various areas of Pugetropolis (the giant city of King County.)  Here I learned about having street smarts, how to deal with large amounts of people, and all of the wonder and joy of the city.
    After Graduation, I moved in with my Dad, and now live in this city area.  It's a huge change in lifestyle to be sure.  I love being here, but I'm glad I have the experience I do from a harder way of life.

Remember the line from Avatar : "With Neytiri, it's learn fast or die."  That is the way of a hunter/gatherer society.  Remember that.

All of the un-romantic inconveniences of living off the land, tribal style.
- You will be dirty all the time.  The dirt will be in your nose, your hair, on your face, and so deep into your fingernails that they may bleed when you take your weekly hot bath.  After a wash, you will be clean for about 30 minutes.  Then you must get back to whatever work you do, and you will very quickly become dirty again.  Not to mention, you and everyone around you will smell like BO almost all the time.  You may or may not get used to it, and some people smell worse than others.
-Speaking of bathing, you will need to make your own soaps.  Unless you have access to special oils, (coconut, palm, almond) these soaps will be harsh.  You will have to use these to wash your hair. 
- If you have a pre-existing skin condition, it will get worse.  Things like eczema, psoriasis, or acne will get worse, and you will have fewer options for treating them.
- Unless you plan on buying toilet paper, pooing is going to be awkward.
-Speaking of poo, no toilets means you are going to have to find alternate ways of dealing with waste that will prevent the spread of disease.
- You get ringworm from touching animals.  You can't wash off ringworm.  You need fungicide.
-Speaking of fungus, peeing on your feet is the best way to protect against athlete's food while you are in a dirty, damp environment.
- If you live in a tropical area, diseases like Dengu, and Malaria, and all a manner of frightening and strange parasites are much more common.
-If you live in a tropical area, it is more like Pandora (in the manner that almost every living thing you come in contact with wants to make your life miserable.)  There are less edible plants, and more poisonous (and bigger) spiders, insects, and snakes.  Don't forget the alligators.
- Speaking of the tropics, go google "Jungle Rot."  I'm not talking about the band.
- You will wake up before the sun rises and go to bed after it gets dark.  You will work, and work hard.  Harder than you've ever worked in your life.  Your muscles will first be sore, then stiff.  As your muscles grow, they will become tight.  You will have little time for special workouts and stretching.  When you pull a muscle in your back, you will not be able to visit a chiropractor.  When it hurts, you will not be able to sit in a comfy chair with a tylenol and an ice-back.  You will instead try to put it out of your mind as you work through the injury.  Then, at night, you will lay on a surface that is harder and lumpier than even an antique mattress.  (Unless you have feathers or a straw tick.  Then you have fleas to deal with.)  Oh yeah, did I mention the fleas?
-You will get bored and depressed because all you do all day is work, just so you can eat dinner.
-Speaking of which.  Your food will be limited.  You cannot just eat whenever you feel the urge.  You will be ravenous by the time you get dinner.  Then, you will not eat until you're stuffed.  You will only eat enough to sustain yourself.  There will be no leftovers and there may not be enough for everyone to be satisfied.  Your meals will be very monotonous in taste.  Your herbs and spices are limited.  Limited salt, no pepper, no curry, no nutmeg, no tumeric, no chili powder or cumin, no sugar, no ketchup, no mustard, no mayo. NO PEANUT BUTTER! (omg!  Trust me, life without peanut butter is hell.) No vanilla or chocolate.  No coffee. You will often grow tired of what you're eating, and crave something else.  You won't get that something else to eat, and trust me, you will feel agitated and upset.  Nothing wears down your strength and optimism like hunger.

-About this permanent tribe business... how permanent is permanent? Do you mean to have children?  If you do, you will have your children taken away from you and you will be thrown in jail for child abuse.

-what about Sex?  What if two members of the tribe get really horny, and they have sex.  What if one get's pregnant?  Then what?

-about Hunting: It feels bad to kill things.  Even when you know you're going to eat it.  I shot a squirrel once and almost threw up.  Can you kill an animal?  Really?  Once you have that fish in your hand, and it's gasping, and staring at you as you get ready to beat it on the head with a rock, can you really kill the thing?  If your tribe is short on food, and you need to poach an animal to survive, you will risk fines or jail time.  Can you deal with that?

-about raising animals: It's way harder and way less rewarding than you may think.  Not only is it sad to raise an animal from birth, only to butcher it and eat it, but without things like tractors, electric fences, barns, vet care, and store-bought feed and supplements, raising livestock is back-breaking work.  In a tribal situation, the person/people responsible for tending such animals will have no time for anything else in their lives, otherwise the animals will suffer, die, get lost, get eaten, get sick, get into the garden and destroy it, get into someone's living space and destroy it, or eat something that either poisons it or makes the milk taste bad.  Chickens will attract predators such as wolves, coyotes, cougars, bobcats, other wild cats, foxes, feral dogs, bears, skunks, badgers, weasles, snakes, vultures, eagles, owls, and.... I feel like I'm missing some...

Whew, I'm tired.  I'll post more when I think of more.

Now, these are the things that would keep me from going to live in a tribal society like you planned.

What I would like to see in this discussion is not people defending their ideas, plans, or hopes about this project.  I want to see people accepting that these things are worth considering, and I want to see people come up with prevention/solutions.  (I will also contribute to the prevention/solution part, cause I've dealt with these things in the past.) 

Remember, be smart, be strong, be safe, and survive.  :)

Txon Taronyu:
This does raise good points

I know I have thought of many of these things and also dealt with them before

Actually you can get a wide veriety off food and lots of it if you know how.

We could have compostible outhoses (clean, not smelly if kept right)

And in a group you would catch a few deer and gather some food and then you would rest most of the day and do some of the other work like tanning hides and stuff but its hard work some times and others its a lot of free time. I know.

Rolyu:
:) Sounds like you have some experience as well.  That's good!

And I agree about the wide variety of nutritious foods, but many of those foods are very bland, bitter, or have simple tastes.  Of course, you can grow things like basil, oregano, thyme, rosemary, dill, sage, parsley and cilantro, but it can sometimes be hard to create a variety of tastes.  It's like, even with all those herbs, if you ate venison and trout predominately for a year, you will often find yourself wishing for some bacon, a nice hamburger, or even just some friend chicken.  (Though fried grouse is soooo much tastier, lucky you!)

 

'Itan Atxur:
This is further proof that we won't be able to completely abandon tech.

Also, those of us who are still hear after reading that post are most certainly worthy of the "committed" list!

Very good points, all of which need to be addressed before we do anything.

Rolyu:
Reading the link that Txon Taronyu posted makes me think twice about the depressed part I posted.  Maybe if you are forced to live that way against your will it is depressing, but the man in the article sounded happy about it because it was his choice.

Food for thought.

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