Primitive communalism; was the first mode of production in which the major means of production were owned and shared by all members of the society. Under communalism the interest of the small groups are considered before an individual.


The nonproductive members of the society such as the elders, disabled and children were exempted from work due to their disabilities. The invention of agricultural tools encouraged man to cultivate bigger plots of land. Rapid increases in population also encouraged people to increase their farms so as to get more food which could feed the growing population.


Some of African societies in the present days are still practicing communal mode of production. These include;


  • The Tindiga and Hadzabe of Singida and Lake Manyara and Central Tanzania.
  • The Dorobo (Okiek) of Maumau forest and Tesoin Uganda.
  • The Mbali found in the equatorial rain forest of the Congo DRC.
  • The bushman (san) of South
  • The KhoiKhoi of Kalahari desert of Botswana
  • The Tur of CHARACTERISTICS OF COMMUNALISM Absence of exploitation


There was no exploitation among the people in a community. All the able bodied members of the society worked hard and shared what they produced. Low level of production.


The level of productive forces were low hence none or very little surplus was produced. The implements used in food procurement were crude and simple. Dependence on nature.

In communalism life was entirely dependent on nature therefore the environment dictated how man lived.



The communal ownership of properties was a major characteristic of communalism. The major means of production like land, tools and minerals were owned by the community. Hunting and gathering.


This was the main occupation in these communities; people were grouped together in collective groups known as hunting bands to facilitate this means of production. This later led to the development of stock raising and agriculture then it brought the division of labor. Subsistence economy.


Due to low level of development of science and technology people produced enough food for their consumption. Lack of specialization.


Because of limitation of their science and technology (knowledge) these people learnt to perform all types of jobs. They worked together in marking roots, hunting and looking for food later on very simples division of labor based on gender occurred.


  1. People in communal society treated each other There was no standing armies and ruling classes; even elders were not lords or rulers.
  2. Learning by doing: people in communal societies shared knowledge. This was acquired through learning by doing, youth and children obtained knowledge and skills from their

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