Loyalty Relationships within the Yanomamo

Loyalty Relationships within the Yanomamo - Alex Engemann...

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Alex Engemann 5/7/2009 Anth. 263g Loyalty Relationships within the Yanomamo Kinship relationships and families of descent are a major focus of  anthropology and cultural study. This is because they are a critical part to every  society. In the case of the Yanomamo, kinship defines incest rules, marriage  structure, and perhaps most importantly in the case of the topic of this focus, the  amount of loyalty for each side of a conflict within the tribe. In Napoleon  Chagnon’s film  Ax Fight  we see the Yanomamo engage in a great conflict and  social drama. The film reveals that family ties such as descent or marriage are  much stronger than the relationships defined by neighborly ties. This is how the  different support groups of the individuals implicated in the crisis can be identified  within the film.  The Ax fight involved two main individuals, Mohesiwa and Uuwa. In the  film it becomes clear that the groups that defend these individuals are their close  families, both by marriage and descent. The whole conflict started as an old  rivalry. The people from Ironasi-teri were visiting the people from  Mishimishimabowei-teri, the village from which they split previously. The people  from Ironasi-teri overstayed their welcome as guests and were not doing any  work for the betterment of the entire community. They constantly demanded to  be fed and their scrounging was annoying their hosts, who were doing all the  farming and harvesting that the Ironasi-teri were enjoying. The people of  Mishimishimabowei-teri decided to stop giving them food. One of the visitors  named Mohesiwa went to some of the women that were farming and demanded  food. When one of the women Sinabimi, a hostess, refused to feed him, he beat 
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  • Summer '07
  • Seaman
  • Anthropology, Napoleon A. Chagnon, ax fight

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