Response: Doing Fieldwork Among the Yanomamo

956 WordsOct 27, 20134 Pages
Doing Fieldwork among the Yanomamo: Response Shaki, or Napoleon A. Chagnon’s 15 month enculturation with the Yanomamo tribe, Bisaasi-teri is characterized by fear, discomfort, loneliness, nosiness, and invaluable experiences through relationships and modesty about human culture. Chagnon documents the experience through the struggle and discovery surrounding his proposed research, as his lifestyle gradually comes in sync with the natural functions of his community. Much of his focus and time was consumed by identification of genealogical records, and the establishment of informants and methods of trustworthy divulgence. Marriage, sex, and often resulting violence are the foremost driving forces within Yanomamo, and everything that we…show more content…
This became a tool which rivaled Chagnon’s incessant pestering about their lineage, which discussion proved to be a strict cultural stigma. Chagnon did well to manipulate their desires to extract necessary information. It is difficult to judge the ethicality of doing so, based on no knowledge of what was done with the genealogical data after collected. This is a breakdown where the AAA (American Anthropological Association) might see an opportunity for ethical issues concerning the method of information attained. It is admirable to see Chagnon’s efforts remain critical as he builds relationships with the Yanomamo People. One relationship in particular is very interesting because of contradictions on previous observations and statements. Chagnon stated, “I would be bitterly disappointed that my erstwhile friend thought no more of me than to finesse our personal relationship exclusively with the intention of getting at my locked up possessions, and my depression would hit new lows every time I discovered this.” He observed for an extended period of time that friendship was based on lasting debts to be reimbursed, often at unequal ratios. This behavior rang true not only of him, but of Rerebawa, who married into the tribe. It becomes interesting to consider that his value was that of material objects and debts, much like we experience in some parts of American culture. As Chagnon

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