Fireside Conversation Sparked Storytelling

Control of fire and the capacity for cooking led to major anatomical and residential changes for early humans, starting more than a million years ago. However, little is known about what transpired when the day was extended by firelight. Data from the Ju/’hoan hunter-gatherers of southern Africa show major differences between day and night talk. Day talk centered on practicalities and sanctioning gossip; firelit activities centered on conversations that evoked the imagination, helped people remember and understand others in their external networks, healed rifts of the day, and conveyed information about cultural institutions that generate regularity of behavior and corresponding trust. Appetites for firelit settings for intimate conversations and for evening stories remain with us today.


Folksonomies: evolution culture cultural evolution

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Fireside Conversation Sparked (0.912046 (neutral:0.000000)), intimate conversations (0.651471 (positive:0.698473)), Storytelling Control (0.642615 (neutral:0.000000)), Ju/’hoan hunter-gatherers (0.638025 (neutral:0.000000)), early humans (0.636030 (neutral:0.000000)), residential changes (0.626289 (neutral:0.000000)), corresponding trust (0.604070 (neutral:0.000000)), major differences (0.602629 (neutral:0.000000)), southern Africa (0.600350 (neutral:0.000000)), evening stories (0.600062 (positive:0.698473)), external networks (0.595279 (positive:0.285033)), firelit settings (0.593445 (positive:0.698473)), night talk (0.591893 (neutral:0.000000)), cultural institutions (0.587818 (neutral:0.000000)), firelit activities (0.585999 (positive:0.490652)), firelight (0.481579 (negative:-0.200591)), Appetites (0.473999 (positive:0.698473)), practicalities (0.469131 (positive:0.585457)), regularity (0.463869 (neutral:0.000000)), rifts (0.454070 (negative:-0.231652)), capacity (0.448748 (neutral:0.000000)), imagination (0.446519 (positive:0.490652)), gossip (0.441832 (positive:0.585457)), Data (0.432842 (neutral:0.000000)), people (0.431169 (positive:0.285033))

Africa:Continent (0.705205 (neutral:0.000000)), million years:Quantity (0.705205 (neutral:0.000000))

Conversation (0.938871): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Africa (0.935599): dbpedia | freebase | yago
Human evolution (0.917001): dbpedia | freebase
Human anatomy (0.693114): dbpedia | freebase
Changes (0.687167): dbpedia | freebase
Paul Kelly (0.679810): website | dbpedia | freebase | yago
Gossip (0.673431): dbpedia | freebase

 Embers of society: Firelight talk among the Ju/’hoansi Bushmen
Periodicals>Journal Article:  Wiessner, Polly W. (September 22, 2014), Embers of society: Firelight talk among the Ju/’hoansi Bushmen, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1404212111, Retrieved on 2014-09-23
  • Source Material []
  • Folksonomies: evolution culture