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Yanomamo, the Fierce People (Case Studies in Cultural Anthropology) Paperback – April 1, 1977


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Thomson Learning; 2nd edition (April 1977)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0030899788
  • ISBN-13: 978-0030899782
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.1 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,951,859 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Bill Threlkeld on June 6, 2013
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A really great work. It turned me on to cultural anthropology and I used it as a text for a class I later taught. The students were amazed that these sorts of people actually existed.
Bill Threlkeld
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This book resulted in a lot of controversy about basic approaches to anthropological field reporting, which is good. It is hard for me, as a non-anthropologist, to see what all the fuss was about. The subject matter is vitally interesting as a microcosm (i.e. we are potentially a lot like the Yanomami in many ways, and what should we do about that?). As the outside world rushes in, this culture will be overwhelmed by it, and be vastly changed. I doubt there is any place on Earth that is like the one reported here.
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In the mid 1960s, the author went and lived with the Yanomamo, a tribe living in the border lands between Brazil and Venezuela. He went by himself, and took food and limited clothing with him. He ended up wearing an outfit for a week, and changing, as he had no means to wash his cloths and get them clean.

The Yanomato were a people of perhaps 10,000 souls in total. They lived in separate villages of from 50 to 200 plus people that warred against other villages on a regular basis. There were no representatives of the government of either Brazil or Venezuela. He was the only outsider in the villages he lived in. There were some missionaries in some of the villages.

The Yanomamo were a stone age people who were just acquiring some metal items from the outside world. They wore minimal clothing, a penis sheath for the men, and a short skirt for the women.

The people in a village lived in one building which surrounded an open central courtyard, and had an outside wall, and roof covering around the outside. Each family built a part, and lived in the section that they built. Everyone slept in hammocks. Each village had a village garden where the different families had their own individual plants. About 85% of their food came from the garden the remaining 15% was from hunting or finding items in the jungle. The men used bows and arrows that they made to hunt, and for war. When war was conducted, there were ambushes and raids on enemy villages. Women captured in war were raped first, and then made a part of the community in the village. Men were killed in wars, and if too many were killed from a village, it could upset the balance of power, and cause a village to ally with another for self defense.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By rd swanson on April 21, 2013
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Interesting if you are taking a college course and discussing it with the professor and classmates, but not a book for fireside reading.
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