The Yanomami Indians

494 Words2 Pages
The Yanomami is a tribe of indigenous peoples that inhabit land between the Mavaca and Orinoco rivers, near the border of Venezuela and Brazil. The Yanomami’s environment is located within the tropical moist broad-leaf forest that is the Amazon Jungle. Their territory encompasses 200-300 villages accommodating a total population of about 26 000 to 35 000 people and making the largest relatively isolated tribe in South America. First sustained contact with the Yanomami and other cultures occurred in the 1940s when the Brazilian government sent teams to fix the limits of the Venezuelan border. Soon thereafter, in the 1950s religious missionaries situated themselves in the Yanomami’s territory and due to the introduction of many new people resulted…show more content…
From there they then journeyed down to South America where they found an area in the amazon rainforest to situate themselves permanently. The Yanomami have a lifestyle that focuses largely on a sense of community. Shabonos are the main type of housing found in a Yanomami village, these houses are large, circular and communal allowing them to house up to 400 people. The circular style of these houses allow for a central area approximately 90 metres in diameter where community activities such as rituals, feasts, games as wells as gatherings by family hearths can occur. Something that remains very interesting about the Yanomami tribe, is their shared sense of equality among their people. Unlike many other tribe cultures the Yanomami do not recognize one particular member as their “Chief”, instead there is a tuxawa (headman) for each particular village that acts as a leader. Being skilled warriors and unconditional peacekeepers is what earns the tuxawa their position in the community. Even in though each village recognizes a leader, all decisions are made by consensus usually after long debates in which everyone can participate. When it comes to daily life and the acquirement of necessities, task are separated by gender; men are the hunters while women are the gatherers. Meat is a commodity that is greatly valued by everyone in the Yanomami tribe. One unique custom in the Yanomami culture is that no hunter ever eats the meat that he himself has killed, but shares it out amongst family and other community members. In return, he will be given meat by another hunter in the

More about The Yanomami Indians

Open Document