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Yanomamo: The Fierce People (Case Studies in Cultural Anthropology) Paperback – December 12, 1984

4.2 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Series: Case Studies in Cultural Anthropology
  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Holt McDougal; 3rd edition (December 12, 1984)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0030623286
  • ISBN-13: 978-0030623288
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.2 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #91,687 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

A Kid's Review on June 26, 2006
Format: Paperback
I bought this book thinking that it was more info on the Yanomamo people of the Rainforest, but it turned out to be just an older version of a book that I already owned! This book is nothing more than an older and less in depth version of "Yanomamo: The last days of Eden". It has all the same photographs, info, cultural back ground data, and myths printed in it as The last days of Eden, just with less pages and not as much of Chagnon's personal opinion is involved.

This is still an okay book, but I'd recommend buying "Yanomamo: The last days of Eden" instead, if you've got the money to do so.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I haven't read "The Last Days of Eden" (yet), so I don't know the extent to which the two books overlap (a problem raised by another reviewer); this review may need editing once I find out. However, in the meantime I strongly recommend this book. Chagnon is a delightful writer, who manages to provide engaging descriptions of the Yanomamo with whom he spent so much time without using complicated jargon (with the exception of his chapter on social organization and demography, which necessitates technical explanations and is much less accessible to non-anthropologists). His initial chapters, describing his experiences starting out to do fieldwork in a remote region without even knowing the language, are fascinating.

One reviewer of "Last Days of Eden" described Chagnon as being rather condescending and looking down on the Yanomamo; I did not find any trace of that attitude here. He seems to have immersed himself completely in this very alien culture, and to understand and accept it very well, without necessarily condoning some of its less attractive features (for example, to our sensibilities, the treatment of women as bargaining chips, to buy security when a village has to seek shelter with a stronger protector). In any case, for us in the west to condemn the ritual violence which permeates Yanomamo life, but which has careful graduations to avoid establishing blood-feuds which may last generations, seems somewhat hypocritical when we ourselves have recently engaged in "vanity wars" and are increasingly using drones to obliterate our perceived enemies (and anyone else in the vicinity).
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Format: Paperback
This was a case study of the Yanomamo by an anthropologist covering about 37 years. It was readable, informative, and empathetic. It gives the reader the experience of living with this Stone Age culture before there was much influential contact with modern culture. It also illustrates the changes wrought as missionaries, gold miners, railroad workers, and government officials became more present and influential in the lives of the Yanomamo. And, at the end, it praises the laws passed by the Venezuelan government, and later, by the Brazilian government to preserve the land, ecology, and culture of these people, so they could continue to live as they chose.
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well done!
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