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Yanomamö Kinship Essay

568 words - 3 pages

Yanomamö Kinship
Asia Harris
ANT 101
Jorge Garcia-Herreros
February 18, 2013

The Yanomamö is a very aggressive culture, and aggression is accepted in the culture; aggression is also used to eliminate anger. Aggression is how problem are resolved amongst villages. According to the text typically problems and conflict occur when there is any sign of adultery, or when the failure to honor a girl promised for marriage, and also kidnapping and rape. Fatality and kidnapping is a result of lack of women amongst villages. There are several ways Yanomamö’s resolve problems; there are speeches, several forms of chest pounding, and club fighting. The speeches are to calm the person down, and if the speech does not calm the person down and/or resolve the situation the person then has to perform a chest ...view middle of the document...

Also villages are invaded and attacked by other villages; and when trying to escape they are attacked by allies in the forest. According to the text Yanomamö cannot break this cycle of violence “Because men carry resentment for past wrongs and fear that they will be taken advantage of unless they demonstrate their willingness to protect themselves and their rights, aggressive behavior is valued and dominates Yanomamö life. Since this pattern is highly valued, it reinforces its existence, according Johnson and Earle (2000). (p.97, Nowak, B., & Laird, P. (2010). Cultural Anthropology)” Balanced reciprocity is initiated through gift exchange, however if one feels the gift exchange is unfair it will be ended resulting in hostility between villages.
In my personal life and beliefs these behaviors are not tolerated. Violence is never tolerated nor is it a last resort. However speeches are highly tolerated, talking amongst one another is the best way to deal with aggression. In today’s society any form of violence is to be handled accordingly, such as taking legal action. Violence should never be condoned, because it could be fatal. I can relate to initiating a relationship with a person through gift exchange. By bringing gifts to a new job, a new neighbor, or an event; you are initiating a relationship with a person or a group of people. However, when presenting someone with a gift to someone there is no need to reciprocate. Versus physical altercation, in today’s society respect is not earned in a physical sense of power, but it is earn in a in a knowledgeable and/or skillful form of power. Today’s society is very much different than that of the Yanomamö culture, but today’s society is also very much advanced than that of the Yanomamö culture also.

Nowak, B., & Laird, P. (2010). Cultural Anthropology. San Diego, California:

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