Yet this understanding has stemmed from extreme isolation and the ability of communities to exist on even the smallest land masses and to harvest bounty that can be seen below the waves or beyond the horizon.
On the island of Lembata in Indonesia the fishermen of Lamalera continue to hunt 75ft sperm whales by leaping from their boats onto the whale's back armed only with a harpoon.
It's fraught with danger, a real Moby Dick scenario, but a single whale provides for the whole village.
A speck in the Pacific Ocean, Anuta is less than half a mile wide and over 70 miles from its nearest neighbour.
Fish and yams make up the people's diet, but once or twice a year when the trade winds change direction they sail across treacherous seas to reach the rocky island of Fatutaka, where hundreds of sea birds are harvested.
Special, sacred outriggers are used for this journey, and the birds are captured using a traditional long pole and noose.
For the fishermen isolated in this ocean the risk to life and limb is very real.
- DailyMail : The stone-age whale hunters who kill with their bare hands