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Unformatted text preview: Changing times for the Yanomamo
Chapter 8 Changing times Accelerating change More change in a decade than in a 100 years Vast and deep changes on yanomamo villages, customs etc Two reasons Church vs State conflict Brazilian Gold Rush Church vs State The formation of the Venezuelan State Church authority being taken away Struggle between church and state Yanomamo on missions/christians Changes Shotguns Used for warfare Accelerated more `efficient' warfare Gives some tribes unfair advantage Obtained from mission posts Contact Not all tribes of the Yanomamo had same degree of contact Some had more, some others very little or diffused indirect contact Mission posts- yanomamo clusters around them Trained yanomamo teachers sent out Movement Large scale movement towards mission posts Village size increases Different from previous upper limit of 250300 Criteria for movement Previous important criteria like fertility of land, proximity to water, defense position Food provided by mission Hunting and gathering? Further consequences Large congregations on land Ecology unable to support Upper limit More dependence on outside sources of food and other goods More dependence on outside world Entrance into formal economy Less `actual' Yanomamo villages `Unacculturated people' Last people on earth to have had least contact with outside world Contact with missionaries, scientists, anthropologists, gold miners, government people Contact consequences Disease-serious health problems Coming in of `outsiders' Chagnon blamed for experimenting with vaccines Helicopter drove away game Voodoo palm effigy Contact by itself `discovery' of `stone age' peoples- journalists coming in Contact consequences.... Gold rush in the Amazon Clandestine flying in of 45,000 miners Deforestation Pollution Death of yanomamo by murder/disease Disease- hepatitis, malaria, influenza Miners- prostitution, guns, alcohol Government forces Miners demanded removal of scientists and missionaries Miners let in- devastation- 1500 Yanomamo died Rivers polluted Effects on Culture Movement has affected culture Marriage, kinship, traditional systems Shamans give way to modern medicine Shamans play an important role Infant mortality Changes Young men have power Older men lose traditional authority New skills valued- speaking spanish, travelling, ability to cope with modern world Larger villages becoming smaller- might not needed to fight Access to weapons-shotguns Cultural change- shabono disappearing Generosity Decreased Gift giving and obligatory trading and feasting has ceased Trade with outside world Previously luxurious items are now needs not wants Religion Christians (partially) Missionaries introduced `western' goods to Yanomamo Yanomamo dependent on goodsgasoline, motors etc Goods not open to trade Yanomamo need to enter market economy to pay for these goods Education Formal education Mission posts with schools Yanomamo year planned around school vacations Literacy Example : Pg 252 Literacy has brought cultural insensitivity Conflicting Information Patrick Tierney `Darkness in El Dorado' Chagnon lied in his book Made up various parts of the topography Yanomamo are gentle people Not `burly and hideous' Chagnon's lies James Neel U Michigan Geneticist- sent out Chagnon to find an `innate' reason for male dominance and aggressiveness Chagnon found what he was supposed to find Influenced by his own `bar fighting' days Fact or Fiction? Tierney claims that Yanomamo are not fierce Low levels of homicide compared to other world tribal cultures `wars' were all staged for video's Malaria mystery ...
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- Spring '08