Cultural Studies Of The Yanomamo

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When an anthropologist studies a culture they must immerse themselves within the culture they are studying; adapting to the cultural living habits, learning their language, and spending time mimicking the act of becoming “one” of them and joining their society. Gaining their respect and respecting their culture in return is a must for acquiring the best of information. This is exactly how Napoleon Chagnon studied the culture of the Yanomamo, who reside in the Amazon rainforest on the boarder of Brazil and Venezuela. He lived amongst them, studied them, analyzed their way of living, and tried to understand it. One of Chagnon’s first observations and lessons was how difficult such a simple task could become in the jungle. The amount of time it took to prepare a small meal would take enough time that once you were finished cleaning up after yourself, you were ready for the next meal of the day. Chagnon soon learned that it was very necessary to skip particular meals during the day in order to have time to be able to complete research. Not to mention, when you were able to eat, many of the Yanomamo tribesmen would be begging you for some of the food you were eating; which became quite tiresome for Chagnon to deal with. He discovered one trick to stop their attraction to the food he was eating was give the Yanomamo a false definition of what the food actually was, such as describing hot dogs as the genitalia of an animal, which was very unappetizing to the Yanomamo. The Yanomamo’s culture is engrossed with violence. The Yanomamo and even referred to as “The Fierce People”. There are many raids amongst their separate villages that often occur, many times to steal women from other tribes. There are many more men than women in the Yanomamo’s tribes and because most men will have multiple wives, it lowers the count of available women even more so women are very

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