Horticulture was once practiced throughout the world, and even today, between 200 and 500 million people still use horticultural methods. Horticulture is a nonmechanized, nonintensive form of plant cultivation performed nonrepetitively on a plot of land. Whereas foragers are food collectors, horticulturalists are food producers. (Nowak, B. 2010). Btsisi’ is one of the many food producing cultures of the world.
In most horticultural societies, there is a designated sexual division of labor, which was developed from the foraging style of living. Although there is a division of labor, in most cases, if a man wants to help his wife cook or a woman wants to go hunting or fishing, it is acceptable. There are no activities that are off limits to anyone. Women are naturally more involved with gathering plants, so their knowledge in cultivation is greater than the men. The men however, have greater knowledge when it comes to animals, so they spend their time hunting and domesticating animals. Men might help with the clearing and burning in swidden cultivation because of their physical strength, but women are more likely to be involved in the planting, weeding, and harvesting activities. (Nowak, B. 2010).
Among the Btsisi', teamwork between husband and wife is culturally valued. At weddings male elders instruct the newlyweds that they are no longer individuals but a team that must work together (Nowak, B. 2008). If a woman assists her husband in clearing and planting the land she is considered an equal owner. (Nowak, B. 2010). The supportive relationship is so strong that even when a man or woman is able to go off on their own to do work they prefer not to. They actually prefer to work together.
The division of labor among horticultural people is based on age as well as sex. At an early age, children learn to help in any way they are able to. Among Btsisi', there are no economic specialists, only people with...