Campfires and encampments offer many practical advantages for group survival. They bring more cooperation, division of tasks and protection against threats. And are therefore also a starting point for fulfilling deeper psychological and spiritual need.
It is known that our early human ancestors and today’s hunter-gatherers use campfires as a place to come together. To tell stories, to dance and sing. A campfire is therefore still considered a popular place to share personal anecdotes. Here songs are sent and the meaning of life is considered.
All these elements were a huge step in the beginning of culture and religion. They also served to increase the group’s greater interests by increasing feelings of group unity and community bonding. Music and dance still function the same way today.
According to leading biologist E. O. Wilson, the origins of creativity go back to the Hominids in the African savannah. Our ancestors were relatively antisocial vegetarians. The big leap forward came when they started eating meat. They started hunting, in groups and on large prey.
Social behaviour became inevitable, because there had to be cooperation and division. Communication and social intelligence helped to survive and delivered evolutionary added value. When they also learned to control fire, food could be cooked and roasted. A whole day of chewing on raw food was a thing of the past. Cooked food is more digestible, which made more energy available, which in turn led to a larger set of brains.
This greater brain capacity is the source of imagination, which was reinforced by language that allows thinking and passing on knowledge in metaphors. The campfires laid the foundations for human culture. The nightly campfire, which offered warmth and protection, created the art of storytelling.
It is almost self-evident that the songs and dances of today’s hunter-gatherer peoples serve them both individually and at the group level. They pull the tribesmen together and create a common knowledge and purpose. Arouse passion for action. And its mnemonic, and thus add something to the memory of information that serves the tribal purpose. Not least, it gives knowledge of the songs and dances power to those within the tribe they know best. ”
Sometimes these songs and dances around campfires reflected practical knowledge about the land, plants and animals. Knowledge passed down between generations because it was very important to survive.
However, many songs and dances around campfires also reflected myths and fictional stories. And helped to answer deeper questions about life…