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Yanomami Tribe

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by Quinten Wolfgang on 30 October 2012

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Transcript of Yanomami Tribe

Yanomami Tribe The Yanomami are located in the rainforest of South America. Their population today is at 32,000. They live in the borders between Venezuela and Brazil. The Yanomami live in large, circular, communal houses called yanos or shabonos. Some can house up to 400 people. The central area is used for activities such as rituals, feasts and games. The Yanomami believe strongly in equality among people. Each community is independent from others and they do not recognize ‘chiefs’. Decisions are made by consensus, frequently after long debates where everybody has a say. Like most Amazonian tribes, tasks are divided between the sexes. Men hunt for game like peccary, tapir, deer and monkey. Women tend the gardens where they grow around 60 crops which account for about 80% of their food. They also collect nuts, shellfish and insect larvae. Wild honey is highly prized. No hunter ever eats the meat that he has killed. Instead he shares it out among friends and family. In return, he will be given meat by another hunter. The spirit world is a fundamental part of Yanomami life. Every creature, rock, tree and mountain has a spirit. Shamans control these spirits by inhaling a hallucinogenic snuff called yakoana. Through their trance like visions, they meet the spirits. As is typical of hunter gatherers and shifting cultivators, it takes the Yanomami less than four hours work a day on average to satisfy all their material needs. Much time is left for leisure and social activities. Inter-community visits are frequent. Ceremonies are held to mark events such as the harvesting of the peach palm fruit, and the reahu (funeral feast) which commemorates the death of an individual. The Yanomami tribe and many others tend to not wear many clothes, but the amount of clothing usually depends on their ranking. Someone who is higher up on the ranking would wear less clothing but more decoration, like paints, headdress ect, and lower ranks would usually wear woven or weaved clothes. Little kids would also tend to not wear anything.
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