Barry Hewlett

Hewlett with Hamar 2011
Hewlett with Hamar 2011
  • Professor, Cultural Anthropology, Evolutionary Anthropology
  • Hunter-gatherers, anthropology of childhood, anthropology of infectious and parasitic diseases
  • Office: VMMC 202R
  • Phone: 360-546-9449
  • Email:

Biographical sketch ▾

Biographical sketch

After receiving my BA (1971) and MA (1976) from California State University, Chico, I worked several years for social service and child development agencies, such as Head Start. I traveled to Africa for the first time in 1971 after completing my BA and started conducting field research in 1973. I decided to return to graduate school in 1983 to pursue a PhD at the University of California, Santa Barbara and obtained my PhD in 1987. Dr. Napoleon Chagnon was chair of my committee and Dr. Michael Jochim (archaeologist) and Dr. David Brokensha (applied anthropologist) were committee members. My dissertation became the basis for my first monograph, Intimate Fathers: The Nature and Context of Aka Pygmy Paternal Care. I have had appointments at Shasta College, California State University, Chico, Southern Oregon University, Oregon State University, Tulane University, Kyoto University (Japan), and Hawassa University (Ethiopia). I have made over twenty field trips to the Central African Republic and have conducted research in several central and eastern African countries.

Research statement ▾

Research statement

I have two general topical interest areas: the anthropology of childhood and the anthropology of infectious and parasitic diseases. Specific topical interests in childhood include: father-child relations, cosleeping, alllomaternal care, allonursing and variability in the attachment processes and the development of internal working models. Interests within the anthropology of infectious diseases include: local cultural models of disease, incorporating anthropological approaches to disease control efforts and emerging diseases. Theoretically, I am interested in evolutionary approaches to culture and biocultural approaches to the topics listed above.

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Projects ▾


Field sites ▾

Field sites

Courses ▾


Books ▾


Joint Attention in Human and Chimpanzee Infants in Varied Socio‐Ecological Contexts
Joint Attention in Human and Chimpanzee Infants in Varied Socio‐Ecological Contexts
Social Learning
Social Learning and Innovation in Contemporary Hunter-Gatherers
More info
Hunter-Gatherers of the Congo Basin
Hunter-Gatherers of the Congo Basin: Cultures, Histories and Biology of African Pygmies
More info
Ebola, Culture and Politics
Ebola, Culture and Politics: The Anthropology of an Emerging Disease
More info
Hunter-Gatherer Childhoods
Hunter-Gatherer Childhoods: Evolutionary, Developmental and Cultural Perspectives. Transaction/Aldine
Diverse Contexts of Human Infancy. Prentice Hall
Father-Child Relations
Father-Child Relations: Cultural and Biosocial Contexts. Aldine
More info
Intimate Fathers
Intimate Fathers: The Nature and Context of Aka Pygmy Paternal Infant Care. University of Michigan Press

Publications ▾


PDF Gopalan S, Berl RBW, Myrick JW, Garfield ZH, Reynolds AW, Bafens BK, Belbin G, Mastoras, Williams C,Daya M,Negash AN, Feldman MW, Hewlett BS,* and Henn BM 2022. Hunter-gatherer genomes reveal diverse demographic trajectories during the rise of farming in Eastern Africa. Current Biology, 32, 1-9.
PDF Bira TG, Hewlett B 2022. Cultural Learning Among Pastoralist Children. Cross Cultural Research.
PDF Broesch T, Carolan P, Cebiughu S, von Rueden C, Boyette A, Moya C, Hewlett B, Kline M 2021. Learning from others: Examining “Natural Observations” of children in six societies. Human Nature.
PDF Lew-Levy S, Boyette AH, Crittenden AN, Hewlett BS, Lamb ME 2019. Gender-typed and gender-segregated play among Tanzanian Hadza and Congolese BaYaka hunter-gatherer children and adolescents. Child Development.
PDF Lew-Levy S, Crittenden AN, Boyette AH, Mabala IAM, Hewlett BS, Lamb ME 2019. Inter- and intra-cultural variation in learning through participation among Hadza and BaYaka forager children and adolescents from Tanzania and the Republic of Congo. Journal of Psychology in Africa.
PDF Hewlett BS, Hudson J, Boyette AH, Fouts HN 2019. Intimate living: Sharing space among Aka and other hunter-gatherers. In Towards a Broader View of Hunter-Gatherer Sharing, N. Lavi and D. Friesem, eds.
PDF Lew-Levy S, Kissler, Boyette AH, Crittenden AN, Mabala IAM, Hewlett BS 2019. Who teaches children to forage? Exploring the primacy of child-to-child teaching among Hadza and BaYaka hunter-gatherers of Tanzania and Congo. Evolution and Human Behavior.
PDF Dira SJ, Hewlett BS 2018. The Chabu hunter-gatherers of the highland forests of Southwestern Ethiopia. International Journal of Hunter-Gatherer Research, 3.2.
PDF Pemberton TJ, Verdu P, Becker NS, Willer CJ, Hewlett BS, LeBomin S, Froment A, Rosenberg NA, Heyer E 2018. A genome scan for genes underlying adult body size differences between Central African hunter-gatherers and farmers. Human Genetics, 137, 487-509.
PDF Roulette CJ and Hewlett BS 2018. Patterns of Cannabis Use Among Congo Basin Hunter-Gatherers. Journal of Ethnobiology, 38, 517–532.
PDF Roulette JW, Roulette CJ, Quinlan RJ, Call DR, Hewlett BS, Caudell MA, Quinlan MB 2018. Children’s ethnobiological notions of contamination and contagions among Maasai agropastoralists of northern Tanzania. Journal of Ethnobiology, 38, 261-275.
PDF Dira SJ, Hewlett BS 2018. Cultural resilience among the Chabu hunter-gatherers in southwestern Ethiopia. African Study Monographs, 39, 97-120.
PDF Gallois S, Lubbers M, Hewlett BS, Reyes-Garcia V 2018. Social networks and knowledge transmission strategies among Baka children, southeastern Cameroon. Human Nature, 29, 442-463.
LNK Meehan CL, Hagen EH and Hewlett BS 2017. Persistence of Infant Care Patterns Among Aka Foragers. In: Hunter-gatherers in a Changing World (Reyes-García and Pyhälä, eds.). Springer.
PDF Boyette AH, Hewlett BS 2017. Autonomy, equity, and teaching among Aka foragers and Ngandu farmers of the Congo Basin. Human Nature, 28, 289-322.
PDF Boyette AH, Hewlett BS 2017. Teaching in hunter-gatherers. Reviews in Philosophy and Psychology.
PDF Olivero J, Fa JE, Farfan MA, Lewis J, Hewlett B and 21 others 2016. Distribution and numbers of Pygmies in Central African forests. Plos One, 11.
PDF Dira SJ, Hewlett BS 2016. Learning to spear hunt among Chabu hunter-gatherers. In: Social Learning and Innovation in Contemporary Hunter-Gatherers, H Terashima and BS Hewlett (eds.).
PDF Hewlett BS and Roulette CJ 2016. Teaching in Hunter-Gatherer Infancy. Royal Society Open Science.
PDF Roulette CJ, Hagen EH and Hewlett BS 2016. A biocultural investigation of gender differences in tobacco use in an egalitarian hunter-gatherer population. Human Nature.
PDF Garfield ZH, Garfield MJ, Hewlett BS 2016. A Cross-Cultural Analysis of Hunter-Gatherer Social Learning, In: Social Learning and Innovation in Contemporary Hunter-Gatherers, Hideaki Terashima and Barry Hewlett (ed.). Springer, 16-34.
PDF Hewlett BS, Berl REW, Roulette CJ 2016. Teaching and overimitation in hunter-gatherers. In: Social Learning and Innovation in Hunter-Gatherers, H Terashima and BS Hewlett (eds.).
PDF Dira, SJ, Hewlett BS 2016. Learning to survive ecological risks among the Sidama of Southwestern Ethiopia. Journal of Ecological Anthropology, 18.
PDF Sousa JD, Temudo,MP, Hewlett BS, Camacho RJ, Muller V, and A-M Vandamme 2016. Male Circumcision and the Epidemic Emergence of HIV-2 in West Africa. PLOS ONE.
PDF Hewlett BS 2016. Social learning and innovation in hunter-gatherers. In Social Learning and Innovation in Contemporary Hunter-Gatherers, H Terashima and BS Hewlett (eds.).
PDF Hewlett BS 2016. Evolutionary Cultural Anthropology. Current Anthropology, 57.
PDF Berl REW, Hewlett, BS 2015. Cultural variation in the use of overimiation by the Aka and Ngandu. PLOS ONE.
PDF Gallois S, Duda R, Hewlett B, and V Reyes-Garcia 2015. Children's daily activities and knowledge acquisition: A case study among the Baka from southeastern Cameroon. Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine.
PDF Abramowitz SA, Bardosh KL, Leach M, Hewlett B, Nichter M, Nguyen, VK 2015. Social science intelligence in the global Ebola response. Lancet, 385, 330-331.
PDF Hewlett BS and Fancher JM 2014. Central African Hunter-Gatherer Research Traditions. In Oxford Handbook of the Archaeology and Anthropology of Hunter-Gatherers. V Cummings, P Jordan and M Zvelebil (eds). Oxford UP. Oxford University Press.
PDF Scott, IM, Clark AP, Josephson SC, Boyette AH, Innes CC, Fried RL, Gibson MA, Hewlett BS and 14 others 2014. Human preferences for sexually dimorphic faces may be evolutionary novel. Proceeding of the National Academy of Sciences, 111, 14388-93.
PDF Hewlett BS 2014. Introduction hunter-gatherers of the Congo Basin. In: Hunter-Gatherers of the Congo Basin, B Hewlett, ed.
PDF Roulette CJ, Mann H, Kemp BM, Remiker M, Roulette JW, Hewlett BS, Kazanji M, Breurec S, Monchy D, Sullivan RJ, and Hagen EH 2014. Tobacco use vs. helminths in Congo basin hunter-gatherers: Self-medication in humans? Evolution and Human Behavior, 35, 397–407.
PDF Hewlett BS and JW Roulette 2014. Cosleeping beyond infancy. In Ancestral Landscapes in Human Evolution, D Navarez et al. (eds). Oxford UP.
PDF Hewlett BS 2014. Hunter-gatherer childhoods in the Congo Basin. In: Hunter-Gatherers of the Congo Basin, B Hewlett, ed.
PDF Hewlett BS and S Winn 2014. Allomaternal nursing in humans. Current Anthropology, 55, 200-229.
PDF House BR, Silk JB, Henrich J, Barrett HC, Scelza BA, Boyette AH, Hewlett BS, McElreath R, Laurence S 2013. Ontogeny of prosocial behavior across diverse societies. PNAS.
PDF Hewlett, BS, Mongosso JS, King R & AC Lehmann 2013. Searching for the Truth: The poison oracle among central African foragers and farmers. In Magic, Witchcraft and Religion: A Reading in the Anthropology of Religion. P Moro (ed) McGraw Hill.
PDF Hewlett BL, Hewlett BS 2013. Hunter-gatherer adolescence, In Adolescent Identity, BL Hewlett (ed.).
PDF Hewlett BS, Boyette AH 2013. Play in hunter-gatherers, In Evolution, Early Experience and Human Development Narvaez, D., Panksepp, J., Schore, A., & Gleason, T. (eds.). 388-393.
PDF Fouts HN, Hewlett BS, Lamb ME 2012. A biocultural approach to breastfeeding interactions in central Africa. American Anthropologist, 114, 123-136.
PDF Hewlett BS, Fouts HN, Boyette AH, Hewlett BL 2011. Social learning among Congo Basin hunter-gatherers. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, B, 366, 1168-1178.
PDF Hill, K.R., R. Walker, M. Mozicevic, J. Eder, T. Headland, B. Hewlett, A.M. Hurtado, F. Marlowe, P. Wiessner and B. Wood 2011. Coresidence patterns in hunter-gatherer societies show unique human social structure. Science, 331, 1286-1289.
PDF Hewlett, BS and MacFarlan, SJ 2010. Fathers' roles in hunter-gatherers and other small-scale cultures. In: The Role of the Father in Child Development (5th Edition), ME Lamb (ed).
PDF Leach M and Hewlett BS 2010. Haemorrhagic fevers: Narratives, politics and pathways. In Epidemics: Science, Governance and Social Justice, S. Dry and M. Leadch (eds), London: Earthscan.
PDF Hess NH, Helfrecht C, Hagen EH, Sell A and Hewlett BS 2010. Interpersonal aggression among Aka hunter-gatherers of the Central African Republic: Assessing the effects of sex, strength, and anger. Human Nature, 21, 330-354.
PDF Becker NSA, Verdu, P, Hewlett, B and S Pavard 2010. Can life history trade-offs explain the evolution of short stature in human pygmies: A response to Migliano and colleagues. Human Biology, 82, 17-27.
PDF Hewlett BS and Hewlett BL 2010. Sex and searching for children among Aka foragers and Ngandu farmers of Central Africa. African Study Monographs, 31, 107-125.
PDF Helfrecht C, Hess NH, Hagen E, Sell A and Hewlett B 2009. Anger and aggression among Aka hunter-gatherers. The evolution of human aggression. Utah.
PDF Hewlett, BS 2009. An evolutionary biocultural approach to the organization of intracultural diversity. Ethos.
PDF Hewlett BS 2009. Victims of discrimination: An anthropological science critique of human rights and missionary narratives of African Pygmy marginalization.
PDF Hagen EH, Roulette C, Hewlett BS, Sullivan RJ, Laganier R 2009. Drug use as potential protection against pathogens: Tobacco vs. helminth load in Aka foragers.
PDF Hewlett BL and Hewlett BS 2008. A biocultural approach to sex, love and intimacy in central African foragers and farmers. In Intimacies: Love and Sex Across Cultures, W Jankowiak (ed.).
PDF Hewlett BS 2008. Fathers and infants among Aka pygmies. In: Anthropology and Child Development, RA LeVine and RS New (eds.).
PDF Hewlett BS and Hewlett BL 2007. Outbreak Ethnography.
PDF Fouts H, Hewlett BS and Lamb ME 2005. Weaning and parent-offspring conflict in Bofi foragers and farmers. Current Anthropology, 46, 29-50.
PDF Hewlett BS, Epelboin A, Hewlett BL and Formenty P 2005. Medical anthropology and Ebola in Congo: Cultural models and humanistic care. Bulletin de la Société de Pathologie Exotique, 98, 230-237.
PDF Hewlett, BL and Hewlett, BS 2005. Providing care and facing death: Nurses and Ebola in Central Africa. Transcultural Journal of Nursing, 16, 289-297.
PDF Hewlett BS 2004. Fathers in forager, farmer and pastoral cultures. In: The Role of Father in Child Development, ME Lamb (ed.).
LNK Hewlett BS and Amola R 2003. Cultural contexts of Ebola in Northern Uganda. Emerging Infectious Diseases, 9, 1242-1248.
PDF Hewlett BS, Silvertri A and Gugliemino CR 2002. Semes and genes in Africa. Current Anthropology, 43, 313-321.
PDF Hewlett BS and Lamb ME 2002. Integrating evolution, culture and developmental psychology: explaining caregiver-infant proximity and responsiveness in central Africa and the USA. In: Between Culture and Biology: Perspectives on Ontogenetic Development, H Keller, Y Portinga and A Scholmerich (eds.).
PDF Hewlett BS 2001. Neoevolutionary perspectives on human kinship, In: New Directions in Kinship Studies, L Stone (ed).
PDF Fouts HN, Hewlett BS and Lamb ME 2001. Weaning and the nature of early childhood interactions among Bofi foragers in central Africa. Human Nature, 12, 27-46.
PDF Noss, A and Hewlett, BS 2001. The contexts of female hunting in central Africa. American Anthropologist, 103, 1024-1040.
PDF Hewlett BS 2000. Culture, history and sex: Anthrpological perspectives on father involvement. Marriage and Family Review, 29, 324-340.
PDF Hewlett BS, Lamb ME, Leyendecker B and Scholmerick A 2000. Internal working models, trust, and sharing among foragers. Current Anthropology, 41, 287-297.
PDF Hewlett BS, Lamb ME, Leyendecker B, Scholmerich 2000. Parental investment strategies among Aka foragers, Ngandu farmers and Euro-American urban industrialists. In: Evolutionary Biology and Human Social Behavior 20 Years Later, L Cronk, N Chagnon and W Irons (eds.).
PDF Hewlett BS 2000. Central African government's and NGO's perception of Baka Pygmy development. In Hunters and Gatherers in the Modern World: Conflict, Resistance and Self-Determination, Schweitzer, PP, Biesele M and Hitchcock RK (eds.).
PDF MacDonald DH and Hewlett BS 1999. Reproductive interests and forager mobility. Current Anthropology, 40, 501-523.
PDF Hewlett BS, Lamb ME, Shannon D, Leyendecker B, Scholmerich A 1998. Culture and early infancy among central African foragers and farmers. Developmental Psychology, 34, 653-651.
PDF Hewlett BS and Cline BL 1997. Anthropological contributions to a community-based schistosomiasis control project in northern Cameroon. Tropical Medicine and International Health, 2, A25-A36.
PDF Hewlett BS 1997. Cultural nexus of Aka fatherhood. In: Gender in Cross-Cultural Perspective, CB Brettel and C Sargent (eds.).
PDF Hewlett BS 1996. African forest foragers and rural development.
PDF Hewlett BS, Kollo B and Cline BL 1996. Ivermectin distribution and cultural context of "forest" onchocerciasis in South Province, Cameroon. The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 54, 517-522.
PDF Hewlett BS 1996. Cultural diversity among African pygmies. In: Cultural Diveristy among Twentieth-Century Foragers: An African Perspective, S. Kent (ed.).
PDF Gugliemino CR, Hewlett BS, Viganotti C and Cavalli Sforza LL 1995. Mechanisms of sociocultural transmission and models of culture change. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 92, 7585-7589.
PDF Hewlett BS 1992. The parent-child relationship and social emotional development among Aka pygmies. In: Parent-Child Relations in Diverse Cultures, JL Roopnarine and B Segal (eds.).
PDF Hewlett BS and Cavalli Sforza LL 1992. Barkcloth designs of Mbuti women. Human Mosaic, 25, 1-9.
PDF Bailey RC, Bahuchet S and Hewlett BS 1992. Development in the central African rainforest: Concern for forest peoples. In Conservation of West and Central African Rainforests. The World Bank.
PDF Hewlett BS 1991. Demography and childcare in preindustrial societies. Journal of Anthropological Research, 47, 1-37.
PDF Hewlett BS 1991. Aka pygmies of the Western Congo Basin. In: Intimate Fathers.
PDF Walker PL and Hewlett BS 1990. Dental health, diet and social status among central African foragers and farmers. American Anthropologist, 91, 270-276.
PDF Hewlett BS 1989. Multiple care among African Pygmies. American Anthropologist, 91, 270-276.
PDF Hewlett BS 1988. Sexual selection and paternal investment among Aka pygmies. In: Human Reproductive Behavior: A Darwinian Perspective, L Betzig, P Turke M Borgerhoff Mulder (eds.).
PDF Hewlett BS, van de Koppel JMH and van de Koppel M 1986. Causes of death among Aka pygmies of the Central African Republic. In: African Pygmies, Cavalli Sforza, LL (ed.).
PDF Hewlett BS and Cavalli Sforza LL 1986. Cultural transmission among Aka pygmies. American Anthropologist, 88, 922-934.