Yanmamo Culture

This essay Yanmamo Culture has a total of 1273 words and 6 pages.


Yanmamo Culture
There are many differences between the South American Yanomamo culture and the

North American culture that we have adapted to, but just at there is culture
diversity between us, we have some similarities. The ethnography, which is
chose, was "Yanomamo" written by Napoleon A. Chagnon, anthropologists.

Chagnon tells us how to it was to live among the Yanomamo family, political and
warfare system versus the American Culture. The Yanomamo are of patrilineal
culture, male oriented and very sexist. For some reason they believe that, they
are superior to women, so do some men in American culture. However, they are
jolted back reality when the law gets involved, unfortunately Yanomamo men
donít have this wake up call. Marriage is cross-cultural perspective. Yanomamo
marriages are much different from that of American marriages. Yanomamo women are
treated as materialistic objects and promised by their father or brother to a

Yanomamo man in return for reciprocity. The reciprocity could be another

Yanomamo women or political alliances. The trades are often practiced in the

Yanomamo culture. Polygamy is also a part of the Yanomamo culture. Yanomamo
women are kept in the maleís possession. The Yanomamo man tries to collect as
many wives as he possibly can in order to demonstrate his power and masculinity.

As polygamy in American Culture is referred to as bigamy which is against the
law. Besides, polygamy, the practice of infanticide plays a role in the lack of
women in their society. Yanomamo prefer to parent a male child rather than a
female child, so in case a female is born she is killed at birth. This again
proved their sexist beliefs that women are inferior. Many Yanomamo women fearing
their husbands kill a female infant to avoid disappointing their so-called"better half". To the people of American culture certain procedures of
murdering a new born baby would be considered brutal, horrific and mutilation.

But to the Yanomamo choking an infant to death with a vine, suffocating the
infant by the placing a stick across her throat, or simply throwing the child
against a tree and leaving it to suffer and then die is normal. Yet some

Americans would also suggest that abortion is just like murder also, so whatís
the difference! When an acceptable child is born into a Yanomamo family the
mother breast-feeds him for a relatively long time. Children are nursed until
they reach the age of at most, three or four. As long as the mother breast-feeds
she is less likely to be fertile. This is a natural contraceptive. But if a new
infant is born it will starve to death, because the older sibling would drink
most of the milk, specially if it is a female infant. Male children grow up to
be hunters and worriers. Female children although inferior (according to the

Yanomamo) are valuable objects of trade and political alliances. A confusing
aspect of the Yanomamo marriages is, even though polygamy is freely practiced so
is monogamy but only for the women. Adultery, just like in American culture, is
inexcusable to the Yanomamo. In this topic similarities make a breakthrough in
both cultures. If relationship between an American woman and an American man
goes putrescent and the woman becomes promiscuous violence is only expected by
the man. The problem is assault and battery charges can get you into a lot of
trouble, not to mention how much you would have to pay a lawyer. But Yanomamo
mean get away with their violent retaliation for being disrespected because
again there are no laws protecting Yanomamo women not that American women are
always protected by the law, itís just a myth. The punishment for the Yanomamo
women who is only suspected of having an affair with another man is being beaten
with a club, burned, shot with a barbed arrow, or the man decides to detach a
limb (ex. Arm, leg...) with an ax or machete. Even though it seems as though
women are expendable is this culture she may have some one who would aid her if
she needed help, her brothers. A Yanomamo womenís endeavor and search for aid
is not always successful espically if her brothers are in a remote village that
you could reach if you walked for a couple of days. But if her brothers are
around and close enough for some strange reason she might get a little more
respect (not too much). Alliances or formal pacts between groups are
incorporated through trade and feasting. The relationships between these two
parties are strengthened when the exchange of women takes place. A political
alliance begins

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Topics Related to Yanmamo Culture

Yanomami, Napoleon Chagnon, Monogamy, War, Sting, Polygamy