Our path forward from this day is ours to map, despite the pressure on us to fall in line with the plans of others. There are some things we must take care of in order to survive. At the top of the list is food, followed closely by clothing and shelter. We usually don’t need to stress about these things. We live in a wealthy country and for most of us these are readily available, so available that “what do you want to eat?” is a cliched meme. How many times has your spouse or significant other asked, and forced you to choose among the many available options? Sometimes, it even goes into the I don’t know, what do you want? back and forth until finally a body just pulls in somewhere.
Neanderthals lived in an environment where survival looked a lot different than it does for us. The Hunt was central to their lives. Scientists have discovered many things about Neanderthal hunting techniques and technology. From the discovery of a centralized staging area where family groups or clans met to organize hunts for prey we can only view as replicas in museums, to the discovery of hearths where meat was prepared and bones with traces of stone blade work were left in refuse piles, we are gaining a greater appreciation for these peoples.
I kid my friends that I need to create a meme saying you may be a 2A gun toting bad ass but are you a run up to a wooly rhinoceros and stab it with a short spear bad ass? For the Neanderthal to successfully hunt the game that roamed the earth during their tenure on the planet they had to be strong, cunning, cooperative, and lucky. All evidence indicates they did not always leave these hunts in the same shape they entered them. Most Neanderthal fossils show evidence of trauma in the form of broken and healed bones and disfiguring injuries to extremities.
Hunting was essential for their survival and hunting Wooly Mammoths, Rhinos, Red Deer and other extinct game defined their society. They were nomads, some roamed limited territories and others ventured further afield. There have been killing fields identified where it appears that big game was run off cliffs and the corpses harvested for the needs of the groups involved, which indicates that communication and interaction with neighboring family groups was a thing. The idea that these peoples were subhuman brutes is being shattered with each excavation of identified Neanderthal occupied sites.
Hunting has been a human activity throughout the history of the planet. Today in our society it has been mostly relegated to a sporting activity. My own sons are prolific hunters. When they were young and showed an interest in hunting, I found them a mentor who would teach them respect for the environment and the game they hunted. We would eat what they hunted and they would be responsible for field dressing and caring for the game. Now, I look forward to a venison roast and deer jerky each fall and winter.
Hunting is a proactive state, going out into the wilds and procuring meat for the family involves skill, patience and persistence. In our society today too many have let themselves get caught up in a reactive state. When constantly reacting to the slings and arrows of a world that really doesn’t have your best interest in heart it is hard to get any traction or make any forward progress. It is easy to get beat down and depressed. Victimization is a big thing. But it’s important to realize that in the long run it is a losing proposition. With the Hunter Not Hunted collection, we at the Original Neanderthal LLC want to encourage people to be proactive. To take charge and to plan and engage their future. To be the pursuer of their dreams and the marshal of their lives. Our very survival as a people is going to be on the shoulders of those who step into the breach and act, to those who step boldly into the fray. It won’t be the spoken word, it will be the actions of those who refuse to settle that will define these perilous times.