Food Sharing at Meals: Kinship, Reciprocity, and Clustering in the Taimyr Autonomous Okrug, Northern Russia

Document Type


Publication Date



The presence of a kinship link between nuclear families is the strongest predictor of interhousehold sharing in an indigenous, predominantly Dolgan food-sharing network in northern Russia. Attributes such as the summed number of hunters in paired households also account for much of the variation in sharing between nuclear families. Differences in the number of hunters in partner households, as well as proximity and producer/consumer ratios of households, were investigated with regard to cost-benefit models. The subset of households involved in reciprocal meal sharing is 26 of 84 household host-guest pairs. The frequency of reciprocal meal sharing between families in this subset is positively correlated with average household relatedness. The evolution of cooperation through clustering may illuminate the relationship between kinship and reciprocity at this most intimate level of food sharing.