Film Journal #2

Film Journal #2 - Page | 1 John La Zhifang Song...

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P a g e | 1 John La Zhifang Song Anthropology 263g Film Paper #2 “Yanomamo Kinship and Residence in the Context of Conflict” The film, “Ax Fight”, is ethnography of the Yanomamo people by Napoleon Chagnon. Chagnon resides in the Yanomamo village, known as Mishimishimabowei-ter, and monitors their way of life. While examining the Yanomamo, Chagnon encounters a fight happening in the community. This clash takes place between two groups: Nanokawa’s and Moawa’s. Prior to the conflict, Nanokawa’s group lived together with Moawa’s group in the same community. However, competing for the “Big Man” caused tensions between Nanokawa and Moawa. The “Big Man” is a prominent individual who is competing for a position of great influence and has the highest prestige in the community. They usually can command their people but does not have formal authority to do so. This competition for the “Big Man” eventually was momentarily solved when Nanokawa’s group left the village with Wadosheiwa’s group, leaving Moawa as the “Big Man” of Mishimishimabowei-ter. However, Nanokawa and his followers still had ties to the Moawa’s group and as time passed by Nanokawa’s brother-in-law convinced him to come visit the community to see each other. As soon as Nanokawa’s group came to visit the community, there was conflict bound to happen. Mohesiwa, an agnate of Wadosheiwa, demanded plantains from a member of Moawa’s group, Sinabimi. When she refused, Mohesiwa beat Sinabimi causing her to go back to Mishimishimabowei-ter crying. When Sinabimi’s brother, Uuwa, found out about the beating he became infuriated. As a result, Uuwa takes his club and goes to insult and threaten Mohesiwa. As tensions rise, more close relatives join sides to back each other up. Sinabimi’s husband and Mohesiwa’s brother join the fight. When the
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P a g e | 2 fight further escalates, more people in the Yanomamo community join in to support one another. Although, the Yanomamo community has a strong tie with in-laws through marriage and
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This note was uploaded on 09/09/2008 for the course ANTH 263g taught by Professor Seaman during the Fall '07 term at USC.

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Film Journal #2 - Page | 1 John La Zhifang Song...

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