The Ties That Bind: Yanomoma Essay

1538 WordsAug 6, 20127 Pages
The Ties That Bind: Yanomoma The Yanomamo are a group of approximately 20,000 indigenous people who live in some 200–250 villages in the deep jungle along the Amazon basin in both Venezuela and Brazil. The Yanomamo are thought to be the most primitive, culturally intact people in existence in the world. As a result of investigating the Yanomamo case study, kinship can be shown as a founding principle of social interaction in a given society. When I explored the Yanomamo case study, I found three cultural behaviors—marriage, conflict, and social organization (leadership) that use kinship as an avenue for social interaction as well as a comparison to the American society is deemed necessary in order to seek an answer to the question: does social interaction function in a tribal society such as the Yanomamo? It leads one to believe that certain societies hold certain abstract rules and principles they can invoke to justify the social interactions in which they participate. The rules about Yanomoma behavior can be phrased in the contexts of kinship, marriage, conflict, and social organization (leadership). First, Yanomoma’s kinship system is based on patrilineal descent. Yanomamo are organized into named localized lineage groups. Lineage groups are quite shallow, seldom extending beyond two adult generations, and small, seldom reaching as many as 100 members. Group dimensions are restricted by the recurrent division and relocation of lineages because of internal conflicts, usually over women, which plague larger units. Despite encouraging mutual cooperation and support among their members, lineages function as territorial units, inhabiting a common settlement, and as elements of a marriage exchange and alliance system. In addition, Yanomamo lineages do not take on substantial corporate functions, such as land ownership, that they often assume in other

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