Boars, barrows, and breeders: The reproductive status of domestic pig populations in mainland New Guinea

Dwyer P.D. (1996) Boars, barrows, and breeders: The reproductive status of domestic pig populations in mainland New Guinea. Journal of Anthropological Research, 52 4: 481-500. doi:10.1086/jar.52.4.3630298


Author Dwyer P.D.
Title Boars, barrows, and breeders: The reproductive status of domestic pig populations in mainland New Guinea
Journal name Journal of Anthropological Research   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0091-7710
Publication date 1996-01-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1086/jar.52.4.3630298
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 52
Issue 4
Start page 481
End page 500
Total pages 20
Publisher University of New Mexico
Language eng
Subject 3314 Anthropology
Abstract With a few possible exceptions, the breeding systems of domestic pigs represented in mainland New Guinea fall into one of three categories. In the first, all pigs in the care of people are the progeny of matings between wild boars and wild sows, and the captive population is fully alienated from breeding. In the second, some pigs in the care of people are the progeny of matings between wild boars and domestic sows, and the remainder are the progeny of wild boars and wild sows. The relative contributions of domestic and wild sows as mothers to the piglets that are taken into care vary among societies that implement this system of breeding pigs. In the third category, all pigs in the care of people are the progeny of matings between domestic boars and domestic sows. Thus, in nearly all New Guinean domestic pig populations, the fathers of those pigs are either all wild boars or all domestic boars and, contrary to earlier conclusions, there is no continuum of pig-breeding systems within New Guinea. It is argued that the relatively high costs associated with managing domestic boars have inhibited transformation to full male and female breeding except in areas, such as highland New Guinea, where wild pigs are absent or rare. Further, the transformation to breeding systems of this type is likely to have been abrupt. Potential complications arising from inbreeding depression in small populations suggest that the circulation of live pigs among prehistoric New Guinean communities was a necessary precursor to the shift to full male and female breeding. Questions concerning the emergence of social complexity within the New Guinea highlands will need to be revisited in the light of this interpretation.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Unknown

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: Scopus Import - Archived
 
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