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Yanomamo: The Fierce People (Case Studies in Cultural Anthropology) [Paperback]

by Napoleon A. Chagnon
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)

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Book Description

April 1992 0030328195 978-0030328190 4th
The Yanomamo of Venezuela and Brazil are a truly remarkable people, and one of the few sovereign tribal societies left on earth. This classic ethnography, based on the authors extensive fieldwork, includes a brief discussion of events and changes that have occurred since 1996. The Legacy 6th Edition of The Yanomamo also includes a Q&A interview with the author, which reveals his own perspective on his lifes work, reflects changes within the field of anthropology itself, and presents the authors views on the recent decade of controversies that his work has inspired among critics (including some anthropologists).
--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Editorial Reviews


Foreword. Author's Preface to the Sixth Edition. Acknowledgments. Prologue. The Killing of Ruwahiwa. 1. Doing Fieldwork among the Yanomamo. 2. Cultural Ecology. 3. Myth and Cosmos. 4. Social Organization and Demography. 5. Political Alliances, Trading, and Feasting. 6. Yanomamo Warfare. 7. Alliance With the Mishimishimabowei-teri. 8. The Acceleration of Change in Yanomamoland. 9. Interview of the Author by William G. Irons. Glossary. References Cited. Ethnographic Films on the Yanomamo. Index. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Napoleon A. Chagnon was born the second of twelve children in Port Austin, Michigan, in 1938. He is married and has two children. He began his academic training at the Michigan College of Mining and Technology at Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan (now called Lake Superior State University), in the physics curriculum. After one year there, he transferred to the University of Michigan, changed his major to anthropology, and received his B.A. (1961), M.A. (1963), and Ph.D. (1966) degrees in anthropology at the University of Michigan. He then joined the faculty of the Department of Human Genetics at the University of Michigan Medical School from which position he participated in an extensive multi- disciplinary study of the Y?nomamö Indians of Venezuela and Brazil. During this time he also held a joint appointment in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Michigan, where he taught anthropology courses. He has held positions at Pennsylvania State University, Cambridge University, Northwestern University, and the University of California, Santa Barbara. His recent views on Anthropology as a discipline are contained in Noble Savages, his most recent book (2012). --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Product Details

  • Series: Case Studies in Cultural Anthropology
  • Paperback: 266 pages
  • Publisher: Harcourt School; 4th edition (April 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0030328195
  • ISBN-13: 978-0030328190
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 6.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,821,853 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Classic. August 6, 1997
By A Customer
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book has been criticized heavily for its emphasis on violence and warfare, and in fact there are many things in Chagnon's ethnography which could be debated--however, above all, this is a very readable, very well written book which does provide a lot of useful information. I read it as a student in the mid-70's and again last year before I went to work with the Yanomami in Brazil, and it was quite useful. I think it should be the first book on the Yanomami that any novice reads--the other books, attacking Chagnon, won't mean much otherwise
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24 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another world is revealed... April 10, 2001
By LinGrad
I am a graduating student of Linfield College in McMinnville, Oregon who was assigned to read this book for a Cultural Anthropology class. Much to my surprise, this book has become a real page-turner!
I never thought I'd have a hard time putting down a textbook. Chagnon's insightful, and more importantly, personalized account of his experiences living among an Amazonian tribe is riveting. He is graphic and provides the kind of realistic detail that is rarely encountered in a textbook - at least none that I've come across so far. He pulls no punches, either in his descriptions of the cultural mores of the Yanomamo, or relating his own struggles and disagreements with his anthropological colleagues.
I heartily recommend this book to anyone who is interested in learning about other cultures, and what motivates humans to behave as they do. This is not just a book for college students or those working in the Anthropology field. I am a Business Management major, but I find the insights this book gives on the human condition to be invaluable. It is always important to be able to see the world through other people's eyes, and Napoleon Chagnon makes that possible through this book.
What better recommendation can I give, but that I will definitely not be selling this book back to my college bookstore, but rather adding it to my personal library!
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15 of 22 people found the following review helpful
Most introductory ethnographies--descriptions of a variety of cultures--drag on and on. Napoleon Chagnon's Yanomamo is different. From his less-than-ideal first encounter with a dozen warriors who greeted him with bows drawn, to a Jaguar's breath as a wake-up call at 3:00 a.m. in the middle of a jungle, Chagnon takes his readers through one (mis)adventure after another. Still, Yanomamo is far more than an ethnographic thriller depicting a tribal people in southern Venezuela. Chagnon describes in detail the Yanomamos' seemingly exotic practices--the rule that a tribesman should marry his classificatory cross-cousin, or the abduction of women that invariably sparks a war, or a chest-pounding duel at any feast that might prevent an all-out battle from breaking out amid the festivities. More, he explains the significance of these (for us) strange practices: for example, marrying your cross-cousin is a very good way to keep your village together. (Read and find out how.) For more than 20 years, I have used successive editions of this text for my introductory anthropology courses. Indeed, Yanomamo is among the most widely adopted ethnographies at the college freshman level. This book is a readable yet solid piece of scholarship, one that many students will keep long after the finals are over.
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29 of 43 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars How do the Yanamamo see Chagnon? March 23, 1999
By A Customer
Chagnon's book is one of the most widely read ethnographies of tribal and animistic people. In it you read how Chagnon sees the Yanamamo. If you want to read how the Yanamamo see Chagnon and other 'nabas' read "Spirit of the Rainforest" by Ritchie. It is written from the perspective of a Yanamamo shaman. You will discover things not covered in Chagnon's work.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting December 24, 2013
By Genie M
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I needed this book for my Anthropology 101 class since it's my major and I read the whole thing- it was fascinating.
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1.0 out of 5 stars good material -- awful production October 18, 2013
Format:CD-ROM|Verified Purchase
This is an important -- and controversial -- documentary, as many others have said. But this edition is very bad. Barely able to see what's going on -- and wretched sound.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting fact August 31, 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I read this book for my summer class.The shipping was fast and the resale value at my bookstore was good compared to the other book i've purchased.Easy reading !!!!
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7 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Informative but controversial December 17, 2002
By A Customer
This bestseller ethnography is praised for its detail; Chagnon is praised for unprecedented geneological and geographical data. Chagnon has spent many decades living with these people and collecting data. Cultural ecology, subsistence and political organization seem to be his strengths, but the text is exceedingly masculine. It can be criticized for ignorning women, those with less power, and power differential. The author's depiction of the Yanomamo as warlike and fierce is argued as overdone and jeapardizing of the wellbeing of the Yanomamo. Prior to Chagnon they were a mostly uncontacted people and since they have been enculturated, devastated by mining, and have lost respect due to their fierce reputation. Very thought provoking, informative and controversial, this 260 page ethnography is a must read for anyone interested in the field of anthropology.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Boring
I only had to read parts of the book for class. it's definitely not something I'd suggest otherwise. Good luck.
Published 13 months ago by Megan Miller
5.0 out of 5 stars interesting
interesting book but the letters are too small and made you fall asleep. also if you are not interested in tribes dont read it you will fall asleep
Published 16 months ago by yajaira
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Textbook
A Great Textbook. In really good shape and i received my package on time and in proper packing materials, so it was not damaged. :)
Published 20 months ago by CUrquidez
5.0 out of 5 stars Boring
I gave it 5 stars because it's not their fault this is a boring book but it is. If you need it for class, this is the right one and it's legit. Read more
Published on December 26, 2010 by Chris
5.0 out of 5 stars Just what I was expecting and more!!
This seller has done a great job! I appreciated the quick response when I had questions. Thank you so much!!!
Published on August 26, 2010 by Tiff
5.0 out of 5 stars The Fierce Nabas
Who says we can't learn anything from primitive peoples? Napolean Chagnon writes a book about the "fierce people," an Amazonian tribe that values violent passion above all, and... Read more
Published on January 31, 2010 by David Marshall
3.0 out of 5 stars Hmm
It had some highlighting in it which I didn't expect but at least I have the book for class now!
Published on October 13, 2009 by Sheng Yang
4.0 out of 5 stars Great for my anthro. class
Great book for an introduction to the yanomamo. It was interesting and great for my anthropology class. Very helpul to understand the different culture.
Published on March 21, 2009 by K.P
1.0 out of 5 stars Yanomami speak out against Chagnon's work
Although an interesting read, it would be so because it is filled with false information. Davi Kopenawa Yanomami claims not only did Chagnon misrepresent the Yanomamo, but also... Read more
Published on October 24, 2006 by Amanda Huggin-Kis
4.0 out of 5 stars cheaper than at the college book store
This book was in the same quality as if i would have bought it at the college book store, but about $10.00 cheaper. Read more
Published on February 23, 2006 by Lillian Lane
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