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Yanomami Essay

974 words - 4 pages

I have researched an historical outline of the Yanomamo tribe and some of their culture and religion, ranging from the food the people eat to how they get married to each other. I have chosen this tribe because according to many anthropologists the Yanomami people are one of the last tribes that had come in contact with the western culture. The Yanomamo people of Central Brazil are one of the oldest examples of the classic pre-Columbian forest footmen. The Yanomamo people are almost completely secluded living in the Amazon rain forests of South America. The Yanomamo live together in tribes or small bands and live in round communal huts called shabonos. The Yanomamo language consists of many different dialects, with no real written language. Clothes are rarely used, most of the Yanomami spend their time doing daily chores such as gathering food and materials, visiting with other people in the tribe and making things like tools. These tribes hold the men in the society in high standings. The chief of the tribe are almost always men who are held in high standings with both the men and women of the tribe. Husbands are often allowed to beat and abuse their wives if they feel it is necessary, they are also able to marry more than one wife. This is a way for the tribe to increase its population by having a loose for of polygamy. Yanomami people often base their politics on alliances that they have with other tribes. As a result of this system they often use trading in their society. One of these methods of forming political alliances is feasting. Feasting is when one village invites another village over to have a very large dinner. During this feast people have a lot of socializing going on. The Yanomamo talk and dance with each other along with eating a lot of different types of foods. The only catch is the village that is invited to the feast must do the same for another tribe. The feast is like a 4th of July party in America where family and friends both attend. However a feast can be fatal for those that host or those who attend. The Yanomamo people can be very deceiving and conniving people. The Yanomami people pretend to be good friends with the visiting tribe. The other village trustfully attends the feast not knowing that this could possibly be their last meals. After the feast as the members of the guest village are peacefully sleeping the Yanomami will come with weapons and brutally murder them in their sleep. The Yanomami are constantly at war with members of other tribes as well as members of their own group. Marriages are often based upon how your family members have done in battle. An Ideal marriages is thought to consist of marriages between cousins much like in America the marriage is...

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