Yanomamo_notes - The Yanomamo are all settled in that...

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1The Yanomamo are all settled in that specific area but Chagnon studied the Bisaai teri village with Yanomamo in it because he was probably able to get access to it with the help of the priest who had first established contact with this tribe. We know that at the time of doing this research of his in the mid 1960’s they numbered around 20,000 and that each village could have around a maximum of 250 people or so. They are called a tribe because they are not small enough to be called a band and besides a band is characterized by being mobile foragers which the yanomamo are not. They are more or less settled and they do move sometimes and the time that they momve most often is during a particular season when we know that they go and camp out and this is to make the most of a time when fruits and vegetables grow in abundance. Ironically for all their fierceness the yanomamo are gardeners as we get to know. So far what we have heard is that they are a very fierce people and that they are aggressive and the most widely known footage about them is one that is very violent. This research goes on for 60 months and it was done over a period of time over several years. One important point that chagnon makes about fieldwork is that while most ethnographers study just one village in a society to write their ethnography on, more often than not in most cases, the economy and social structure of one village or community cannot be studied in isolation, but as the result of the relationship between the members of that community and their relationship with others. In other words a more holistic point of view rather than being centered on just one thing in one place. Earlier ethnographies tend to cover everything in that society- politics, economics, social life etc but later ethnographies became more specialized because anthropologists realized that simple societies as they were called were not so simple after all. Getting back to the garden point we know that each household in the yanomamo village cultivates a small garden but the main staple food is plaintain. The Yanomamo village is called the Shabono and basically it is a group of houses built around a central courtyard. This again is an important point here because architecture can reveal a lot about culture. Here you see that there are houses all being built around a central courtyard- it reveals that privacy is not given the same value that it is here in American culture. Here houses tend to have walls between them to block out both sound and sight but that is not the case with the Yanomamo village. In fact one of the things that chagnon talks about when he mentions culture shock is the complete lack of privacy. Everywhere he goes he is confronted with someone or the other and to the extent that later he learns to lock himself in his hut so that he is not disturbed especially when eating. There has been some sort of controversy also about why precisely there is this shortage of
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This note was uploaded on 04/10/2008 for the course ANTH 101 taught by Professor Zhang during the Spring '08 term at Tulane.

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Yanomamo_notes - The Yanomamo are all settled in that...

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