Kinships in the Yanomamo

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Kinships in the Yanomamo
Ashley Jones
ANT 101
Adrienne Stafford
May 21, 2012

A kinship system is a system of social relationships that constitute kinship in a particular culture. Among many cultures kinship is greatly valued among the Yanomamo society. Their way of life centers around these kinships. Their kinships impact the way they think and how they live their lives. While in today’s society our families also known as our kin “kinships” are typically blood related or through marriage. These factors also exist in the Yanomamo society however their kinship system is composed of a more complex group of people which we will later discuss.

The Yanomamo are from the Amazon rainforest in South Africa. They are known as hunters, fishers, and horticulturists. They are said to be indigenous people who are intent on preserving their cultural traditions and defending their land. The daily life of the Yanomamo revolves around many things like gardening, collecting firewood and wild foods, fetching water, and finding time to spend with each other. A dominant factor in the Yanomamo society is the formation of groups and the regulating of intergroup relations which can also be referred to as their kinship system. Their system is based on that of the Iroquois tribe. They trace their ancestry through the male figures, who are considered more valuable and or important than the women of the tribe. This kinship system plays an important role in social relations within tribe. For an example marriages are arranged by the older male kin. Sometimes women are sent to be married to other men on other villages. This makes marriage partially a business and or political process within the Yanomamo tribe. These marriages establish relationships “kinships” with the different tribes in the village. This aspect of kinship also aids in forming alliances. As stated earlier Yanomamo’s typically have a more complex idea of kinship than that of the American society. Because these...
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