Marriage and Descent Relationships in the Yanomamo

Marriage and Descent Relationships in the Yanomamo -...

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Marriage and Descent Relationships in the Yanomamo As a major focus of anthropology and cultural studies today, kinship  relations and descent groups are a critical part of any society.  Particularly with a  society like the Yanomamo, characteristics of kinship define marriage structure,  incest rules, and most importantly for the focus of this paper, the sidings that take  place during a major conflict or crisis.  Specifically, in the Yanomamo, the film Ax  Fight reveals that relationships defined by marriage and descent are stronger  than those defined by residence, and thus define the different support groups of  the individuals involved in the conflict. In the events that transpire in the Ax Fight, it becomes clear that the  groups that defend both Mohesiwa and Uuwa are based on marriage and  descent (close relatives of the fighters).  The fight begins days after people from  Ironasi-teri visited Mishimishimabowei-teri, the village they had previously split up  from.  The people from Ironasi-teri had been staying too long and had begun to  freeload off the hosts; they demanded to be fed repeatedly, but did not do any  work during the day to help.  One day, a visitor named Mohesiwa demanded food  from women in the garden, and when Sinabimi, a host, refused to feed him (as  she had been instructed), Mohesiwa beat her.   The first example of relatives defending each other occurred when  Sinabimi’s brother, Uuwa, challenged Mohesiwa with a club ( ). 
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  • Summer '07
  • Seaman
  • Anthropology, Napoleon Chagnon, Consanguinity, ax fight

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