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Yanomami Presentation

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Anthropology Project

on 3 May 2013

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Transcript of Yanomami Presentation

The Yanomami Yanomami Myths Explain their beliefs Give reasoning for traditions and culture Used for entertainment and socialization Make sense of how things came into being The no badabö are a mix of spirit, human and animal. Many of the Yanomami's myths are centered around the No Badabö The origin of the No Badabö is uncertain, but they are responsible for the creation of many plants and animals One of the ancestors shot the moon. The blood spilled onto the Earth and from it men were created. Where the blood fell heavily the men were aggressive, fighting and killing each other. Where the blood was not as thick the Yanomami were made. All humans were once Yanomami. One day a great flood came and swept some of the people away. A spirit found them and took the "Yanomamish" out of them. That is how foreigners were created. Using Myths as Entertainment Men are the primary storytellers Drugs are often used by the performers While many myths are used to explain why something is or to teach a lesson, some are used simply for entertainment purposes Myths are not told linearly, but instead only bits and pieces at a time. Basic Facts Population: 26,000 Childhood Between the ages of 4 and 5 girls and boys become aware of their different gender roles Boys are praised for aggression while girls are praised for obedience Boys learn to hunt but continue to play while girls are expected to take up many household chores and care for their younger siblings Early Adulthood Married Life Women are betrothed to older men (in their 20s) by the time they are 9 or 10 years old Married Life Men now are responsible for their wives and are expected to provide for them Political and Social Power
For Men Men are the only ones permitted to hold positions of power and have ability to increase status Political and Social Power
for Women The only way in which women can achieve a higher status is through age General Responsibilities of Men When constructing a new home men must set support poles and other heavy duty construction General Responsibilities of Women Men are responsible for clearing fields for planting and hunting Puberty has little effect on boys lives Girls are considered women after their first menstruation Girls are expected to move in with their betrothed husband after this time A woman's responsibilities change little in terms of household duties but she is now expected to raise children Women are expected to be obedient to their husbands or they can be physically punished A woman's father and brother are responsible for protecting her against an overly abusive husband Village headman is an inherited position from the largest patrilineal line
Shaman is open to any male and has higher status than the headman
Story Teller is open to any male and is responsible for maintaining myths and history
Becoming an accomplished hunter or warrior is another way which men can increase their status A woman's higher status is often only recognized by other women Older women are responsible in giving advice to young women on how to be good wives and raise children Men make tools for hunting such as bows and arrows Are permitted to participate in poisoning of rivers to gather fish Marriage and Village Relations -Villages often offer their women in order to form good relations with one another (though cross cousin marriage is preferred).
-These bonds are necessary because continuous trade between villages are important in order to form alliances.
-Items that are traded are reciprocated with different items, which ensures that bonds remain strong.
-Bonds between villages are kept and maintained in case a village's enemy attacks. Marriage- Polygyny -The practice of having more than one wife at a time.
-Typically a practice of Yanomami headmen.
-Scholars speculate that this might be so that the headman, who has "the best genes," can generate more offspring with his multiple wives.
-This way, his genes are more likely to be passed on to future generations, ultimately bettering the Yanomami.
**However, most Yanomami unions are monogomous** The Yanomami and Divorce -If the wife refuses her husband long enough, their union can be terminated.
-Marriages are most likely to end around the time of beginning of cohabitation, or in the first few years
-Their words have different meanings; their words mean they threw their partner out, or they plucked their partner out.
-The words hold more meaning than "divorce" does to Americans.
-Divorce can also occur if the man is overwhelmed by the expectations placed on him by his bride's family (this can also occur in middle aged years).
-Marriages can also be terminated if both spouses are unhappy with each other.
-The severity of divorce can vary depending on the age of the female and how many years the husband has provided in service and payment. Elopement Serious violation to Yanomami culture rules and norms because marriages are to be arranged by parents.
Elopement also skips over formalities with bride price or bride service. Subsistence Strategy Overview
- Originally believed to be purely hunters and gathers
- Now understood that >80% of food is grown in gardens
- rest of their subsistence supplemented by foraging and hunting
- only take what they need from the forest for each day Chagnon, Napoleon. "Three Yanomamo Myths." Documentary Educational Resources. Documentary Educational Resources, n.d. Web. 7 Mar 2013. <http://der.org/resources/study-guides/three-yanomamo-myths.pdf>. Chagnon, Napoleon. Yanomamö: The Last Days of Eden. 5th ed. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1992. 116-141. Print. Peters-Golden, Holly. Culture Sketches. 6th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2012. 270-275. Web. 7 Mar. 2013. "Yanomami Mythology." Yanomami. N.p.. Web. 7 Mar 2013. <http://www.wausau.k12.wi.us/east/Student Files/Anthropology/Template 2/myths.html>. Yanomami Works Cited
Ushiñahua, Charito. Yanomami Indians: The Fierce People? 2008-2011 Amazon-indians.org. 5 March 2013. <http://www.amazon-indians.org/yanomami.html> No Badabö: The Original Humans Creation Story: The Story of Moonblood Dispute about the creation of women:
1. created from the blood of the moon
2. created from the wabu fruit An antropologist who did extensive field work amongst the Yanomami, asked two chiefs from separate villages to perform for him the same myth. While the main plot and characters are the same, there are differences in the minor details. While small changes are generally acceptable, occasionally listeners will object saying that the performer "got it wrong" Disputes among Myths Gender Roles Marriage Myths Responsible for growing plants, caring for children, cooking, and gathering firewood and water Gather leaves and vines for the roof during construction of a new home Weave baskets, make pottery, spin cotton, and weave hammocks Location: Brazil and Venezuela Housing: villages (80-350) live in a communal round hut called a shabono Modern Day Threats - Gold miners and loggers are threatening their traditional methods of getting food
- forests are being destroyed for wood
- the soil is being stripped for gold Believed that over 40% of time is spent on "waynum" or traveling Dinner time! Hunting and Gathering Gardens Ember, Carol R. and Ember, Melvin. Human Culture, Highlights of Cultural Anthropology, Second Edition. Boston: Pearson Education, Inc, 2012. Peters-Golden, Holly. Culture Sketches Sixth Edition. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2012. Peters, John Fred. Life among the Yanomami: The Story of Change Among the Xilixana on the Mucajai River in Brazil. New York: Broadview Press, LTD, 1998. 3 March 2013. <http://books.google.com/>
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