|PaleoPlanet is a good place to start.|
Wherever the seasons are marked by holiday festivals and ceremonies;
where the stages of life are punctuated by family and communal rituals;
where eating and drinking and sexual play constitute the central core of life;
where work, even hard work, is rarely divorced from rhythm, song,
human companionship, and esthetic delight;
where vital activity is counted as great a reward of labor as the product;
where neither power nor profit takes precedence of life; where the family
and the neighbor and the friend are all part of a visible, tangible,
where everyone can perform as a man or woman any task that anyone else
is qualified to do --
there the neolithic culture, in its essentials, is still in existence,
even though iron tools are used
or a stuttering motor truck takes the goods to market.
- From Lewis Mumford's The Myth of the Machine
...Eustace sees a chilling sight -- a citizenry so removed from the rhythms of nature that we march through our lives as mere sleep-walkers, blinded, deafened, and senseless. Robotically existing in sterilized surroundings that numb the mind, weaken the body, and atrophy the soul. But Eustace believes we can get our humanity back. When we contemplate the venerable age of a mountain, we get it. When we observe the superb order of water and sunlight, we get it. When we experience firsthand the brutal poetry of the food chain, we get it. When we are mindful of every nuance of our natural world, we finally get the picture: that we are each given only one dazzling moment of life here on Earth, and we must stand before that reality both humbled and elevated, subject to every law of our universe and grateful for our brief but intrinsic participation within it.
From The Last American Male by Elizabeth Gilbert, telling the story of Eustace Conway
Naked Into the Wilderness: Neolithic Technology and Attitudes
As 'Preppers', we try to imagine the conditions we'll face in TEOTWAWKI.
What we imagine influences our choice of companions; where we locate; what shelter we arrange; how we stock it with foodstuffs, tools, supplies and information; what skills we acquire. We lays our cards and we takes our chances.
But skills aside, we can lose all of this.
It can be taken from us or we can be driven off from it. Fire can reduce it to useless embers. Mistakes or inadequate storage can expose a food supply to spoilage or pests.
Or heck, we may have been completely wrong about what to expect!
Not so long ago - indeed, in some places on Earth, today - we didn't need all this stuff to thrive and survive. Was a time when every adult member of the community (from about twelve on up) could walk naked into the wilderness and, by the end of the day, be outfitted for come-what-may.
Clothe oneself and set up shelter; find water and forage some grub(s?); make and set snares; make fire; recognize a few workable rock types and from them, manufacture tools and weapons. With training, these basics take hours, at most.
And there will be lots of time for refinements! Time to improve all of the above, tan hides, ferment marginally edible plants, soften the bedding.
Time, too, to re-create aspects of neolithic culture. To use one's own voice to sing, one's own hand to trace a line of paint, to carve ones own vision into wood or stone. Time to teach and forge friendship and trust through the sharing of life-saving knowledge.
Neolithic technology is often derided as primitive and crude. Yet the edge of a well-made, glass blade (Couldn't find obsidian? Check the local rubbish pile!) is vanishing thin and surgically sharp. The atlatl is an engineering marvel of 'bionic' stature.
And if you want to add metals to the repertoire, why not? They did, wherever they came across them. Our neolithic ancestors were wide open to new means and materials. Thinking out of the box was, for them, a way of life. Just don't bog yourself down with it!
All this, to me, breathes freedom. Security.
They had nothing to steal that didn't amount to a bunch of rocks and sticks, easily replaced. Yet they live lives arguably more rich than our own. Our ancestors could walk in any direction, carrying little more than the knowledge in our heads, the skill in our hands.
These were our ancestors. This is in our blood!
I'm not prepped, in this regard. I've not fairly started on the road to proficiency. But it's more than a hobby... I'd say it's an agenda.
The more neolithic skills and knowledge I acquire, the more certain and secure I feel.
Some day we shall get up before the dawn
And find our ancient hounds before the door,
And wide awake know that the hunt is on;
Stumbling upon the blood-dark track once more,
Then stumbling to the kill beside the shore;
Then cleaning out and bandaging of wounds,
And chants of victory amid the encircling hounds.
- From Hound Voice by William Yeats