Human Activities

Human Activities | Geography



Types of Primary Activity

  • In the history of human civilization, agriculture was a major landmark in the life of a human because it allowed them to have a settled life.
  • Before man started his sedentary life, he was dependent on hunting, gathering, Harding, lumbering, mining, fishing and agriculture for his livelihood.
  • All these activities for which man hand to depend on collecting thing directly from nature are known as primary activities.
  • In its most primitive form, the primary activity includes food gathering and hunting.


  • The gathering is a primary activity in which people gather their requirements from nature.
  • This includes the collection of fruits and roots from forests and sometimes includes hunting.
  • This kind of activity is prevalent among remote, isolated tribal groups of people.
  • Bushman of Africa, aborigines (Jaravas, Onges) of Andaman and Nicobar.


  • Hunting is a primary activity in which people hunt animals for their meat and skin.
  • This kind of activity is still prevalent among remote Isolated groups of people. Example Pygmies of Africa, the Amerindians of the Amazon basin, Eskimos of Canada.
  • Other primary activities like herding and fishing require greater organization.


  • Herding is a primary activity in which people graze a large number of animals on natural pastures.
  • This involves seasonal migration of the nomads and their flock from one area to another in search of fresh pastures.
  • Today the nature of herding is different in different regions.
  • The herders of Africa and central Asia still move in relation to the climatic season and the availability of natural pastures herders of North America South America and Australia have large ranches where fodder is cultivated and the animals here are not dependent on natural vegetation.
  • These ranches are able to support very large herds of animals.


  • Fishing is a primary activity along rivers and lakes and in coastal areas.
  • Inland fishing is usually simple and on a small scale.
  • Simple fish nets are used to catch fish.
  • Tonle Sap is the world‘s largest inland fishing lake in the world.
  • Fishing in the oceans is a more complex activity.
  • Abundant food for the fish in the form of plankton is available in the continental shelves and shallow seas.
  • Large ships called factory ships to travel the oceans for months at a time.
  • They catch process and tin the fish on the ship itself.
  • They use modern technology to track the fish and this has often resulted in overfishing in parts of the world
  • Countries like Japan, Peru and Canada and areas like the North Sea and North-West Atlantic Ocean are important fishing grounds.
  • Besides fishing, whale and seal hunting and pearl collection are also carried out in the oceans.


  • Lumbering is a primary activity that extracts wood from the forests for varied uses.
  • Timber is used for fuel, furniture making and paper and pulp industry.
  • Temperate forests are more extensively used for two responses – the trees have softwood and a large number of coniferous trees of the same type are found together.
  • Countries like USSR, Canada and USA have large timber resources.
  • Two – thirds of the world‘s industrial wood output is from the temperature forests.
  • Tropical forests have valuable hardwood trees like teak and rosewood.
  • But lumbering is not a major occupation because the valuable timber trees are scattered in the forests.
  • Mining and agriculture are also primary activities but they involve more human interaction and are practised on a large scale.
  • Therefore, we shall study these two primary activities in the following lessons.
Nomads Place Animals
Masai Af-Kenya, Tanzania Cattle
Bedouin Arabia Camels
Laps Scandinavia Reindeer
Tuaregs Africa, S.W. Asia Sheep and Goat
Kurds West Asia Camels
Rabari India-Rajasthan

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