Chapter 7: The Origin of Pristine States

Harris writes about how “big men” or mumis grew large in past societies. These creates pristine societies with the three majors ones being “Mesopotamia in 3300 B.C., Peru at the time of Christ, and Mesoamerica in  A.D. 300.” The “big men” would basically get their neighbors to give surplus food so that the population could hold a giant feast at the end of the harvest. This position came with great responsibility and people constantly trying to usurp their power. With time, populations would grow, the mumi had first pick for wives, and was able to get their people to fight wars against other groups. Trade routes were established, sexism continued to be engrained in the culture, and secondary states arose underneath a “big man.”