Which group of people are the largest self-sufficient group still living today. By self-sufficient I am referring to people who import nothing and export nothing, who infact have no trade whatsoever. They have no money and no system of bartering with neighbouring villages/tribes, e.g. i’ll swap two bags of rice for one of your goats would count you out of this question. The group of people has to have a civilisation whereby each person has a job, performs that job for no pay but recieves all their food and accomodation free.
The reason I ask is that whenever I see documentaries on T.V. about people visiting tribes in jungle areas that supposedly have no contact with the evil “white man” you can guarantee that at least one of them will be wearing adidas shorts and have a packet of cigs in his hand, clearly these people are not truly self-sufficient.
There are arguably no utterly isolated tribes in the world - at least one member will have some fleeting contact with at least one member of another tribe, a member of which will fleetingly contact another, and so on, until you get to a tribe near a village or settlement with some contact with “the world”. It is thus not impossible for some trade item to eventually end up in the hands of a New Guinean, Evenki or Amazonian who seems as isolated as it is possible to get.
And who says the “white man” is evil, exactly. That sounds more like a straw man to me.
It was to rule out humans as a group of people that I stated that there must be no exchange of goods and no monetary system in place.
Simply because that is how I phrased the question, to allow money to be used would be to ask a different question. To give a very basic example of a group of people that would qualify:
Person A: Hunts for food (kills animals and gathers fruits)
Person B: Cooks food
Person C: Builds and maintains housing
Person D: Takes care of the clothing needs of the group
In this example everybody has a job, none of them get paid for doing what they do but that doesn’t matter because everything is free. Person A gets his food cooked, clothes made and a roof over his head for doing his job but no money changes hands. It could be argued that there is an exchange taking place, i.e. swapping food for clothing, but if Person A fails to catch anything for a few days he doesn’t get thrown out of his home and refused clothing. The group looks after itself with each person doing their bit, sort of like the group of people in the film “The Village” (though they did occasionally go into the town for medicines).
Like I said, you could argue that there is an exchange taking place but if one person becomes incapable of continuing their job, becomes disabled in some way, they will still recieve all the benefits they would if they had continued working. In my opinion that would mean there is no longer an exchange taking place, it is a society that works on a sort of honour system, nobody is forced to work but people do so because it is the right thing to do.
The Sentinelese are the sort of thing I was thinking of though they have been observed to make use of items manufactured by other civilisations it could hardly be regarded as trade, especially given that the Sentinelese had no who made the items nor where they came from.
Reading that Wikipedia article does make one thing clear, it is difficult to know which group of people is the largest when any such group is likely to resist any attempt to perform a survey on them.