Yanomami Indians Summary

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INTRODUCTION Over the years, there has been increasing concerns among Anthropologists about how their fieldwork has been impacting the lives of the people they are studying. This has led the American Association of Anthropologists (AAA) to develop what is known as a Code of Ethics which involves guidelines that should be observed by Anthropologists when doing their fieldwork. Cassell & Jacobs (n.d.) stated that ‘Anthropologist’s perceive ethics as an abstract and, on occasion, intimidating set of injunction.’ Therefore with such a popular held notion among Anthropologists then there are going be cases of misrepresentation of information, data and people that were collected and studied. Furthermore some Anthropologist view ‘ethics as a form …show more content…
The case study that will be focus on is “Did Napoleon Chagnon’s Research Methods Harm the Yanomami Indians of Venezuela?” The paper will be focusing on three aspect of Chagnon’s study and will extend to other Anthropologists who were involved in the data collection method. The three focus points are: the introduction of western tools and how it disrupted the Yanomami’s way of life, the inappropriate relations with Yanomami Indians due their obvious vulnerability and thirdly the viewpoints of Yanomami Indians of the effects that this research has had on them. With the case study in question one should then be able to garner the importance of the ‘code of ethics in a …show more content…
They have been popularized through the work of Napoleon Chagnon and others though they were not always depicted in the correct light. They are seen as important because they give the Western world an idea of what life was like before ‘civilization.’ These Indians are “portrayed in books and films, not necessarily correctly, as one of the world’s last remaining prototypically primitive groups (Borofsky & Albert, 2005:4).” With this ideology of the Yanomami Indians their culture and society are taught in Universities through either film or books. The Yanomami Indians are characterized by Chagnon (1966) as a semi-nomadic people, who practice slash and burn horticulture and hunting/fishing to survive – they even planted bananas. They are a tribe of roughly twenty thousand Amazonian Indians living in 200 to 250 villages along the border between Venezuela and Brazil (Borofsky & Albert,

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