Thursday, February 22, 2024

Yanomami tribe: The tribe yet to experience civilization


There are many forms or modes of burials ranging from Cremation to In-Ground and Above Ground burial, but what do you think of burial by eating; crazy right. Have you heard of the Yanomami tribe? Eating of the dead as the mode of burial and more are some of the intriguing symbols of this civilization.

Who are the Yanomamis?

With a total of over 35,000 people, the Yanomamis are a group of people who resides in about 250 villages in the Amazon rainforest situated between Venezuela and Brazil. They consist of Southern American Indian speakers of the Xiriana language. The first report of the Yanomami was in 1654 when Apolinar Diez was leading an El Salvadorian expedition. The Yanomami tribes place high importance on aggressiveness and are often at worse with one another.

Amazing facts about the Yanomamis

The Yanomamis are one of the rarest sets of tribes. They are few tribes in the world that are yet to accept western civilization. The following are some of the few interesting facts that are peculiar to these Indian Northern American tribes;

1. Endocannibalism:

Death in the Yanomami tribe is not seen as a natural occurrence but instead an act from an evil spirit sent by the opposition tribe. They immediately “remove” the body from the community. The tribe men cover the corpse in leaves in a forest nearby for decay to occur. They collect the remains after 30 to 40 days and cremate them. After cremation, the ashes are mixed with a soup of fermented bananas. The gourd of the soup is passed around among the members of the community and this is usually finished in a sitting.

Although there is an exception to this rule. When there is an attack on the community. The body of members lingers around till the tribe successfully avenges the death. Only women take the “Burial Soup” and this is done on the night in which a revenge raid is planned

2. Violence act

Anthropological studies have shown that Yanomami tribe was spread by violence. The people of this tribe don’t only act violently with other tribes but also among each other. Napoleon Chagnon-n an anthropologist describes Yanomami as “a state of chronic warfare”. Although there has been a recent debate on whether this act is part of an inherited culture of the Yanomamis or a psychological response to a historic art. Jacques Lizot is an anthropologist who has lived among the Yanomamis for a total of more than 20 years. He stated in his book; that the Yanomami’s are warriors and could be very cruel and brutal. But they are also very sensitive and loving. It doesn’t updominate their lifestyle.

3. Female puberty and menstruation

Due to the belief that menstrual blood is poisonous, girls are kept away in an isolated building. A deep hole is built in the building for the girl to squat on. The mother and other older friends of the girl are notified immediately. The girl’s old cotton clothes are disposed of and must be replaced. This is to show the girl is ready and available for marriage. The menstrual cycle does not occur frequently among the Yanomamis due to constant childbirth and nursing.

Well, you may be as surprised as I am that some tribes haven’t experienced civilization, how? Why? Impossible, but truly, it is possible as this tribe truly exists.

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