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North And South American Yanomamo Culture

1259 words - 5 pages

There are many differences between the South American Yanomamo culture

and the North American culture that we have adapted to, but just at there is

culture diversity between us, we have some similarities. The ethnography,

which is chose, was “Yanomamo” written by Napoleon A. Chagnon,

anthropologists. Chagnon tells us how to it was to live among the Yanomamo

family, political and warfare system versus the American Culture. The

Yanomamo are of patrilineal culture, male oriented and very sexist. For some

reason they believe that, they are superior to women, so do some men in

American culture. However, they are jolted back reality when the law gets

involved, unfortunately Yanomamo men don’t have this wake up call.

Marriage is cross-cultural perspective. Yanomamo marriages are much

different from that of American marriages. Yanomamo women are treated as

materialistic objects and promised by their father or brother to a Yanomamo

man in return for reciprocity. The reciprocity could be another Yanomamo

women or political alliances. The trades are often practiced in the Yanomamo

culture. Polygamy is also a part of the Yanomamo culture. Yanomamo

women are kept in the male’s possession. The Yanomamo man tries to

collect as many wives as he possibly can in order to demonstrate his power

and masculinity. As polygamy in American Culture is referred to as bigamy

which is against the law. Besides, polygamy, the practice of infanticide plays a

role in the lack of women in their society. Yanomamo prefer to parent a male

child rather than a female child, so in case a female is born she is killed at

birth. This again proved their sexist beliefs that women are inferior. Many

Yanomamo women fearing their husbands kill a female infant to avoid

disappointing their so-called “better half”. To the people of American culture

certain procedures of murdering a new born baby would be considered

brutal, horrific and mutilation. But to the Yanomamo choking an infant to

death with a vine, suffocating the infant by the placing a stick across her

throat, or simply throwing the child against a tree and leaving it to suffer and

then die is normal. Yet some Americans would also suggest that abortion is

just like murder also, so what’s the difference! When an acceptable child is

born into a Yanomamo family the mother breast-feeds him for a relatively

long time. Children are nursed until they reach the age of at most, three or

four. As long as the mother breast-feeds she is less likely to be fertile. This is

a natural contraceptive. But if a new infant is born it will starve to death,

because the older sibling would drink most of the milk, specially if it is a

female infant. Male children grow up to be hunters and worriers. Female

children although inferior (according to the Yanomamo) are valuable objects

of trade and political alliances. A confusing aspect of the Yanomamo

marriages is, even though polygamy is freely practiced so is monogamy...

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