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Readings (due October 11)

Page history last edited by PBworks 12 years, 9 months ago

To comment on the following readings, please first indicate your name, e-mail address, and the date of your post. Then, add your comments.

 

Example: [E. Kintz, kintz@geneseo.edu, 8/25]

 

IN THE FUTURE COMMENTS - LET'S BEGIN TO THINK LIKE CULTURAL ANTHROPOLOGISTS AND USE THE SCHEMATA THAT SCHOLARS APPLY TO THE STUDY OF OTHER CULTURES. PLEASE IDENTIFY YOUR FOCUS FOR YOUR WIKI POST AS:

 

A. ENVIRONMENT

B. KINSHIP AND MARRIAGE

C. ECONOMICS

D. POLITICS

E. IDEOLOGY/SYMBOLISM

F. SOCIAL CHANGE

 

YOU NEED TO HAVE THREE COMMENTS FROM EACH READING USING AND IDENTIFYING THE CATEGORY ABOVE AND YOU MAY USE THE SAME TOPIC MULTIPLE TIMES IF YOU WISH. POSTINGS SHOULD BE LIMITED TO THREE SENTENCES. THIS WIKI IS DESIGNED TO ENSURE YOUR ATTENTION TO THE READINGS LISTED IN YOUR SYLLABUS AND TO ASSIST YOU IN MASTERING INFORMATION ON WORLD CULTURES AND PROVIDING YOU WITH A GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE.

 

Ruby, Chapters 3 & 4

 

Type your comments here . . .

 

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[Steph Aquilina, sma8@geneseo.edu, 10/9]

 

Picturing Culture – Jay Ruby – Chapters 3 & 4

 

1. IDEOLOGY/SYMBOLISM: In ethnographic film, illuminating a humanistic portrait of morality must not take precedence over accurately portraying the culture. Robert Gardner, in an effort to create a seamless narrative, assumed the “voice of God,” fooling viewers into thinking that his film was the essence of truth, rather than one story told by one individual. Essentially, he refused to work with the culture (shared anthropology) and instead wished to pursue his own preconceived viewpoint, without even receiving their consent.

2. IDEOLOGY/SYMBOLISM: Filming romantic versions of a culture’s existence while ignoring the political and economic pressures they face is completely ignorant; oppression and inequality may characterize a good portion of their lives. Filmmakers misleadingly try to preserve a culture’s “purity” and “authenticity” by trying to recreate life before colonialism/Western influence, even going so far as to stage ceremonies as media events, rendering them hollow and meaningless.

3. IDEOLOGY/SYMBOLISM: Tim Asch collaborated with anthropologists for the primary purpose of educating anthropology students. He believed short films that depicted single events in great detail could exemplify anthropological concepts, such as cultural relativism, structural functionalism, alliance theory, and reciprocity, and would be useful not as cinematic masterpieces but as basic learning devices. The Feast exemplified this teaching style in its form: By including freeze-frame images with narration, students could absorb the material, and then by comparing the first and last sections of the film (unedited and edited), students could critically examine the differences in chronology and interpretation that influence their overall impressions of the culture. END

 

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Charlie Genao cg7@geneseo.edu 10/10

 

politics- Money is the name of the game you can tell it is because of the timing of the release of the film and the events that was going on at the time.

 

ideology- although he didnt tell anybody about his true intentions to the people he was filming I can see his way of thinking. The reason was that by not telling them they could at like themselves and that way the film would be much more pure.

 

economics- Maybe people might disagree with his tactics because of consent and privacy issues but look what happen to Nacook of the north revisted we later found out that Nancook was not laughing for laughing he was laughing because the camera was there.

 

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[Elen De Oliveira. emd10@geneseo.edu, 10/10]

 

Ruby-chapters 3 and 4

 

1. politics- The making of the film and its focus is often catered around the public of the time and what people were thinking and interested in. Gardener knew that Dead Birds was coming out at the perfect time becuase of the violent situations the country was dealing with and used that to his benefit. Like many filmmakers, he built his film around the intentional audience, which Ruby critiques as "problematic."

 

2. ideology- Gardener believed that keeping his subjects in the dark about what he was doing, made his film much better and more realistic than it would have been had he arranged for them to give informed consent. Others may not agree with this, however, because perhaps if the people did know what he was planning on doing, they wouldn't have wanted him to do it. It seems like a breech of privacy.

 

3. economics- colaboration and funding played a large role in financing an anthropological film. Those whose filming endeavors were backed by a corporation were lucky and able to take more time with their films, along with having to make sure certain requirements were taken care of.

 

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[Larkin Kimmerer, llk5@geneseo.edu, 10/11]

Ruby-Chapters 3-4

1. Politics: Gardner wanted Dead Birds to contribute to a dialog on war--here we see a bias that would clearly influence the film. He was trying (according to Ruby) to make a statement rather than just documenting. Later it was mentioned that morality around the issues of the time took precedence over creating an accurate film.

2. Politics: In filming the Yanomamo, they told Tim Asch to stand back from the issues of the village. He wanted to film the fight, but it was more important that he stay removed from the political goings-on (aka fights) in the village for his safety.

3. Ruby certainly does not like Gardner! While I agree that his contrived story line is a lot like the issues we took with Nanook, with the composite battle scenes, it also seems like Ruby is seriously critical of Gardner's work, which makes me a little skeptical of Ruby's constant criticisms.

 

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(Cameron Mack, cfm6@geneseo.edu, 10/13)

 

Ruby - Chapters 3 & 4

 

1. Tim Asch was interesting to read about, in large part because of his method of collaborating with anthropologists for most of his work. I think that his work is crutial to the understanding of film and anthropology. Asch is "one of the few ethnographic filmmakers to devote himself to these problems.

2. The "political" struggle when referring to the fight that Asch wishes to film is quite interesting and complex. I'm not sure I liked the outcome of the struggle, but that's politics!

3. The way in which Ruby criticizes and minimizes Gardner's work is truly surprising to me. I would assume some sort of mutual respect between the two as professionals, however, that does not seem to be the case as Ruby berates him with many critical comments.

 

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[Dilek Canakci, dc11@geneseo.edu, 10/14]

 

Ruby-Chapters 3-4

 

Politics: It was a great contribute for Ruby to discuss the Dead Birds in this chapter to show the presence of violence in human society. Why this kind of an issue takes place in every society and what it actually accomplishes.

I found Tim Asch’s work very interesting and I think he will teach people a lot about Anthropology and the methods that are important in being a good teacher to others through his work.

 

Ideology: Gardener was excellent in keeping everything a secret until he exposed his work to the world to see what kind of a reaction he may get without giving away any ideas about it. I think this decreased the amount of people that may prejudge his ideas or his ways of doing his work.

 

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[Jennifer Ritzenthaler, jkr5@geneseo.edu, 10/14/07]

 

Ruby Ch. 3&4

 

1.Ideology-Robert Gardner has made films that do not focus on the scientific, but on his dreams or nightmares of the things he has seen. This makes his ethnographic films more reflective pieces than direct documentation.

2.Politics-Ruby is critical of Gardner since he doesn’t believe that he is using ethnographic fieldwork to support his films. Other people saw his criticism as a personal attack, but Ruby says that this is not true.

3.Ideology-Tim Asch’s aim in creating ethnographic films in collaboration with anthropologists was to make his films accessible to other scholars and teachers. He has been of great value in the history of ethnographic film in teaching methods of creating ethnographic films as study tools.

END.

 

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[Dave Roberts, dlr4@geneseo.edu, 10-16]

 

1.)IDEOLOGY: I love how Ruby has devoted an entire chapter to talking st about Gardner. It's kind of funny. Well, he's not talking st, he's just engaging in "vigorous debate" over the anthropological integrity of the film. He does make some valid points though, like how it's slickly edited to the point of becoming a narrative. As we have learned IN EVERY EFFING READING OF THE SEMESTER, APPARENTLY YOU CANT DO THIS FOR REAL ANTHROPOLOGICAL CINEMA. REALLY?!?! WHY NOT?!?

 

2.)IDEOLOGY: Gardner's moral "dilemma" (more like "decision") to not tell anyone what he has doing with the cameras (the native's apparently did not know what they were or what their function was) was intriguing to me. This is the opposite of Jean Rouch's "shared anthropology ideals. I'm not sure which way I would choose to produce a film; I can see anthropological pros and cons to both approaches.

 

3.) IDEOLOGY: Ruby believes that our generation's extensive exposure to television and other polished entertainment media has left us without a critical lens; we watch all things, presumably included anthropological cinema, expecting to be entertained, not challenged.

 

End

 

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[Heather Warren, hrw1@geneseo.edu, 10/17]

 

Ruby, Chapters 3 & 4

 

  1. Symbolism: The debate over whether ethnographic film should only be made from video you have available or from creations that the film artist makes to illustrate the movie and to provide flow I’m sure must be a long one. On the one hand, the filmographer is largely placing his/her influence and bias in the film in the guise of what the audience mistakes as absolute truth. On the other hand, the film would be lacking potentially important information and lack a proper flow.
  2. Symbolism: As to Gardner’s method of piecing together a “cine battle,” I think if it gave a wide variety of information without construing the overall truth of the Dani battles then the technique is fine to use. It’s when it warps the truth that it becomes a problem.
  3. Symbolism: When Gardner is quoted as saying “I seized the opportunity of speaking to certain fundamental issues in human life. The Dani were less important to me than those issues,” I instantly felt that the film was no longer meant to be an ethnography of the Dani (101). In my opinion, an ethnography should focus on the people of the ethnography first and foremost, otherwise it is just turns into something like a parable.

 

END

 

[Lanh Nguyen, ltn2@geneseo.edu, 10/20]

Ruby: Ch. 3 & 4

1. Pp 100- “The voice of the narration is third person passive, or what is known among fieldworkers as ‘the voice of God’ “

2. It’s ironic how Gardner was so strong on his belief about film, ethnography, and anthropology but further research shows that he contradicted many of his beliefs. Actions barely ever supported his words.

3. The National Endowment for the Humanities have instutionalized the idea of working together/collaboration- offers field rapport, translators, and cultural understanding (originated with Chagnon and Asch).

 

END

 

[Shamiran Warda, sw11@geneseo.edu 10/21]

Ruby 3 and 4:

 

Politics- Often times the current issues going on in the world cause the development of films that dress such issues as seen with Robert Gardner’s film entitled Dead Bird which contributed somewhat to the issues that America faced with the Vietnam conflict. However, often times this could result in bias because when it comes to politics everyone has his or her beliefs on what is or should be done, thus I believe Gardner knew what he was doing and knew the current issues going on at that time. And overall knew it would be the appropriate time to release his film to the public to arise questions and concerns that deal with the events.

 

Symbolism- Each individual has his or her opinions and associate and unfold things differently, thus I found it very interesting how some people associate the narrator of a film to be like that of a God: “The voice of the narration is third-person passive, or what is known among filmmakers as “the voice of God.”” Another example of the various opinions and unfolds is seen with Staal and Paul’s reviews on the film Alter of Fire; here we can see a clash between these two people’s opinions. However, I feel such clashes can be important especially to the film in that it exposes what might be flaws where they could be better improved.

 

Ideology- I found it very interesting how Gardner never wanted to talk about his work and kept basically everything to himself as if this would help him better his career. It is funny how the mind of us humans works. The ideology for each is different as seen with also Tim Asch, where his main focus was to teach cultural anthropology to undergraduates.

END

 

 

[Anne Kim, ak13@geneseo.edu, 10/22]

 

Ruby, Chapters 3 and 4

1. POLITICS: Ruby discusses the warfare dealing with the US military involvement and Southeast Asia. Ruby recalls that Gardner said that he wanted Dead Birds to contribute to the Americans having problems with the Vietnam Conflict.

2. ECONOMICS: Ruby, however, praises Gardner for his efforts in studying the economic area. Ruby discusses the economic ideas that Gardner conveys through his writing. Gardner researches the ecological patterns in human societies.

3. SOCIAL CHANGE: Ruby discusses Robert Gardner’s anthropological works and cinema. Ruby feels the need to publicly illustrate his criticisms of Gardner’s works. He states that some anthropologists mistaken his criticisms as some sort of hatred toward Gardner. Ruby focuses on the politics of Gardner’s focus of his works by stating that his work has deterred away from mainstream anthropology.

 

END

 

 

{Isobel Connors, icc2@geneseo.edu, 10/22}

 

Ruby: Chapters 3 & 4

 

1. IDEOLOGY: Ruby points out the difficulty that ethnographers have in presenting an objective perspective of culture. He quotes a critic of Gardner’s film Rivers of Sand: “The relationship between men and woman in Hamar society appears more complex than Omalleidna’s theory. Bob, however, preferred to edit his material to fit her theory and his own ideas about male domination, rather than to explore actual relationships between men and women….That the whipping was ritualized and initiated by the girls themselves, is not made clear in the film” (109). This quote offers an example of how the ethnographer can manipulate film in such a way that it gives a false impression of a society.

 

2. SOCIAL CHANGE: Ruby postulates that, since the addition of sound in film, cinematographers have relied far to heavily on oral translations when depicting a foreign culture. He suggests that film can get a point across through simply a visual presentation.

 

3. SOCIAL CHANGE: Tim Asch uses a sequence of still-shots with narration to better explain events in his film The Feast. He chose to use this technique to focus the viewer’s attention on the narration because, when shown with the motion of the scene, the viewer becomes distracted.

 

END.

 

[Kaitlyn Northrop, krn3@geneseo.edu, 10/22]

 

Ruby 3 & 4

 

1.) Politics- Film is often based on the time it is being made and what the general people think at that time. For example, Gardener knew that 'Dead Birds' was coming out at a perfect time because of the violence in the country at the time.

2.) Politics- I thought it was interesting how Tim Asch wanted to get more involved with the Yanomamo, but because of his own personal safety they told him he had to refrain from intervening.

3.) Social Change- Ruby believes that since the sound has been added to film, oral translations have been relied on far too much when the visual presentation should be more than enough.

 

END

 

 

 

[Jonathon Baker, jlb22@geneseo.edu, 10/22]

Ruby Chapters 3 &4

1. Social Change- How sad that Dani world that Gardner had known vanished in such a short time span. I suppose it must be a worry in the back of all ethnographic filmmakers that the film they make might increase interest in the group being filmed and contribute to an influx of outside influence and subsequent cultural change. However, as cultural change in inevitable in nearly all circumstances, at least the film will hopefully forever preserve how the culture was at the time.

2. Economics- To me, it seems much better to film everything in vast detail like John Marshall did rather than small bits and pieces like Gardner. If you only choose little tidbits to show, it would seem to me that you can’t possibly have as good of picture of the culture as you could with a large amount of film. Although as we know, financial resources to do such things are very rare.

3. Kinship and Marriage- I thought the conversation in the Ax Fight during the wife-beating sequence was very crazy. It really makes you realize that these anthropologists who make this film are really putting their lives on the line. It’s not until you hear about an anthropologist actually witnessing something this brutal do you realize that they are living in the real deal, real savage conditions. It would be interesting to find out more about what exactly happened that day with the woman having relations with her son and then being beaten, and how often such things happen among that tribe.

-END-

 

[Dan Lilly, djl5@geneseo.edu, 10/22]

 

IDEOLOGY: It seems like a major problem with the legitimacy of ethnographic films is that there is an assumption of homogeneity of beliefs on indigenous peoples. Perhaps this is just part of the way in which we tend to simplify indigenous culture, try as we might as anthropologists not to do anything of the sort. The fact remains, though, that two natives could have very different views on the same ritual or belief, and if anthropologists and filmmakers aren't too careful, they might just get one side of the argument.

IDEOLOGY: I'm starting to wonder if anybody can really be objective about anything. The reasonably accepted idea of Phenomenology (I'm going from my sociolinguistic notes if this sounds familiar to anyone) says that objective observation of society is impossible because everybody is naturally ethnocentric. What film, if any, is any good? (Coincidentally, I really want to get a hold of one of Ruby's own ethnographies, watch it, and then bash it, anyone wanna come with?)

SOCIAL CHANGE: I think Ruby makes a good point that we often rely too heavily on oral traditions. There are often things that are just lost in translation between any language, and anthropologists are often basing huge cultural assessments and judgements based on the best translation that they can find or figure out. It makes you start to question everything you've ever heard about foreign culture.

 

END

 

Alfred Dilluvio ajd12@geneseo.edu 10/22

 

Ideology: Gardner's open admission that he was trying to filmicly salvage some of the cultures that were disappearing turned out to deeply offend those cultures that had in fact survived.

 

Gardner recieved funds to film Dead Birds on the basis that he was furthering anthropology.

 

Gardner's films, therefore, must be critiqued as anthropology. They concern the issue of consent and knowledge the subjects should have about a film makers intention. Gardner believes that his work would have been hampered if the subjects had understood what was going on.

 

[Skye Naslund, sjn1@geneseo.edu 10/23/07]

Ruby Ch. 3 and Ch. 4

 

1-Politics: Producing a film about war and trying to make a statement about it at the same time creates a huge bias in the filming of the piece. Because people were emotionally involved in the topic it became “Dead Birds” almost became a piece of propaganda instead of simply documenting an event.

2-Ideology: Gardner reflects on his pieces more than he documents them. He is not content to simply film something without bias. He cannot get over his own personal biases, and instead tries to incorporate them into his films taking away from the documentaries.

3-Ideology: Ruby’s view of today’s information age is somewhat negative. He portrays youth of today as lacking the ability to interpret material and challenge our minds, suggesting instead that we only wish to be entertained.

 

 

 

[Rebecca Coons, rsc2@geneseo.edu, 10/23/07

 

RUBY 3/4

 

ECONOMIC: Like last Hockings reading, it is impressive to find what channels ethnographers have to go through to get funding. They are literally at the mercy of huge corporations who only want to make more money so they’ll only fund films that are likely to get a large audience. In other words, the more blood you put in your film the more likely it’ll get funded.

SOCIAL: I agree with Ruby that our generation's exposure to television and other media has left us watching things expecting to be entertained. It is a sad day for ethnographic film when this is all they can do.

SOCIAL: Ruby also discusses Gardner’s work. He feels the need to show his criticism of Gardner’s works by stating that his work has no longer represents anthropological data. – END –

 

 

Chagnon, "Doing Fieldwork Among the Yanomamo"

 

Type your comments here . . .

 

(1)

[Steph Aquilina, sma8@geneseo.edu, 10/9]

 

“Doing Fieldwork Among the Yanomamo” – Napoleon A. Chagnon

 

1. POLITICS: Violence and chronic aggression and warfare characterized the Yanomamo social organization, marriage practices, mythology, settlement patterns, and daily life. Internal disputes over sexual affairs or marriageable women can escalate to the point of splitting villages and creating enemies. Alliances and friendship patterns may curb violence but they are relatively unstable and animosity usually builds between them eventually.

2. POLITICS: The Yanomamo engage in food sharing as a way of displaying friendship. At first, Chagnon did not understand his system of reciprocity, and tried not to give into the urgent, aggressive begging for food and tools that he constantly encountered. Once he became familiar with their social dynamics, he could defend his position and cease to allow villagers to take advantage of his ignorance.

3. KINSHIP: Yanomamo people upheld strict name taboos, especially when concerning the deceased. Even refraining from using a living person’s name was considered a sign a courtesy and respect; instead, kinship names were used to refer to people, using a classification system that utilized the same term for relationships like “father” and “uncle.” END

 

(2)

[Dave Roberts, dlr4@geneseo.edu, 10-10]

 

1. IDEOLOGY/SYMBOLISM: I liked how Chagnon described the "culture shock" he experienced during his 15 month stay with the perpetually violent Yanomamo. Although it's not exactly useful anthropologically, the fact that Chagnon bluntly states "...primitive man is not always as noble as you originally thought-or (I myself) not as culturally or emotionally flexible as (I) assumed" gives perspective of these people from a Eurocentric point of view.

 

2. IDEOLOGY/SYMBOLISM: Much of the time, Chagnon does not write from a detached, scientific point of view, but from a personal, opinionated point of view. Much of it is narrative, and could be mistaken for a work of fiction. A good example of this is Chagnon's description of when he first entered the village, "staring down the shafts of drawn arrows!" (the usage of the exclamation point is noteworthy) held by "hideous men."

 

random note They wiped their snot into their hair! hahaha

 

3. SOCIAL CHANGE: I love how once the natives learned the phrase "OH SHIT!", and that it was offensive to the missionaries, they used it as much as possible. Apparently a sense of humor is a universal thing.

 

(3)

[Elen De Oliveira, emd10@geneseo.edu, 10/11]

 

“Doing Fieldwork Among the Yanomamo” – Napoleon A. Chagnon

 

1. kinship and family- kinship and family seems to be an important aspect of yanomamo life. Life expectancy is short and girls are needed for marriage purposes as well as further children, so having a family is extremely important.

 

2. politics-warfare is a main part of yanomamo life, but as chagnon says, it is very structured and not simply random violent acts. There are ways to stop the fighting and maintain peace, however temperal that peace may be. Through marriage arrangements and trading, opposing families can overcome their hard feelings. It is interesting to see how the yanomamo people had their own planned ways of getting to chagnon and recieving what they demanded. It became a political game which chagnon had to figure out and employ in order to be left alone.

 

3. social change- for chagnon, and any other anthropologist or person who ever visited this tribe, a culture shock is inevitable. We live in a world that is seemingly entirely different than theirs where we are clean, and our food is clean, and we have a huge sense of privacy. For both chagnon and the yanomamo, the visit was a large social change. The yanomamo learned english words and their effects on people as well as the fact that sharing was not a way of life in other cultures.

 

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[Larkin Kimmerer, llk5@geneseo.edu, 10/11]

"Doing Fieldwork Among the Yanomamo"-Napoleon Chagnon

1. Kinship and Marriage: Social dynamics and politics of the village revolve around giving and receiving girls for marriage, and kinship controls everything that happens among individuals and groups. All of the fights had to do with wife-stealing!

2. Social Change: "Your hands are dirty" is an interesting first comment to the Yanomamo. I liked that the Yanomamo tried to spite him by "washing" their hands to his disgust immediately after that comment. And the "Oh Shit!" comments to the missionaries is a good example of western contact changing how they speak.

3. Politics: Warfare is a huge part of life, and it seems like ritual warfare in all of the restrictions and rituals behind it, but it is very serious--1/4 of all adult males die violently!

 

END

 

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(Cameron Mack, cfm6@geneseo.edu, 10/13)

 

"Doing Fieldwork Among the Yanomamo"- Chagnon

 

1. Social Change: Chagnon spent an enormous amount of time among the Yanomamo before he was able to even understand them. He began his study of the Yanomamo quite awhile before he was viewed as viable member of the society. By that statement, I only mean that it took Chagnon an extended amount of time to be incorporated into their culture. Although it took Chagnon a short amount of time to be acknowledged by the Yanomamo, the immediately social change is apparent.

2. Politics: What Chagnon viewed in this exotic culture was different to anything we have ever seen. Within this was a unique method of warfare among other tribes of surrounding areas. Despite modern society increasing and growing all around the world, this culture seems to have stuck to its roots and traditions over a vast span of time. Even the battles waged between tribes were occurring during the time of Chagnon.

3. Ideology/Symbolism: It was clear to read that the Yanomamo held storytelling and mythology near to their hearts. The traditions of the Yanomamo can be traced to certain areas using their tales as guides. Chagnon was able to discuss with the elders of the tribe the amazing tales of past individuals and even older legends.

 

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[Jennifer Ritzenthaler, jkr5@geneseo.edu, 10/14/07]

 

Chagnon-"Doing Fieldwork among the Yanomamo"

 

1.Environment-The Yanomamo live fairly simplistically in their style of dress, material possessions, and kinds of foods. This is due to their environment, where they can live well, hunting and farming their own food, doing about three hours of work a day. The tropical rainforest is able to provide much for them.

2.Environment-The cycle of seasons has a great influence on the life of the Yanomamo. The wet cycle prevents much travel, while the dry season is conducive to feasting, trading, and politicking with allies.

3.Kinship-Social life revolves around kinship. Kinship affects marriage prospects, positions within the village, and more. Marriages also affect alliances, politics, and many aspects of village and inter-village life.

END.

 

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[Dilek Canakci, dc11@geneseo.edu, 10/14]

 

 

 

 

 

Chagnon, "Doing Fieldwork Among the Yanomamo"

Ideology: The Yanomamo use hallucinogenic drugs to enter the spirit world and cure their ill by taking away the evil spirits that have taken over the ill person’s body. This is an amazing belief because it is so in depth of their culture. It is also taboo to speak the name of the dead because it is considered to be great disrespect towards the people that once lived.

Economics: There is a big division of labor among the people. It is clear what men do and what women do in order to survive. Men go hunting, build, and participate in most of the ritual practices, whereas women mostly stay behind, cook, and take care of the children.

Economics: Balanced reciprocity is a big part of the Yanomamo culture. After receiving a gift from someone, it is necessary to pay the person back with a different kind of gift that is worth just as much as what you have received from that person.

 

(8)

 

[Jonathon Baker, jlb22@geneseo.edu, 10/16]

 

 

Chagnon 1977 “Doing Fieldwork Among the Yanomamo”

1. Environment: The environment seems to be much more friendly to the Yanomamo than many other of the people we have studied. They have a year round growing season, and the weather is so warm that they have little need for clothing. The only obstacle is the rainy season.

 

 

2. Family/Kinship: Most of the fighting comes about over women…everything always comes back to sex doesn’t it? One fourth of all the males die violently, that’s insane.

 

 

3. Social Change: The story the author tells of his first day with the Yanomamo was probably the worst instance of culture shock I have ever heard of. I would have been terrified and wanted to go home right away.

 

 

-END-

 

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[Heather Warren, hrw1@geneseo.edu, 10/17]

 

Doing Fieldwork Among the Yanomamo – Napoleon A. Chagnon

 

  1. Environment: You can definitely tell that the climate in their region must be hot since their clothing is more decorative that protective, especially since that clothing is not even clothing but things like feathers, string, and paint.
  2. Environment: I also think that it is interesting that the Yanomamo do not cross anything larger that a small stream unless it is dried up. It makes me wonder if it is do to some sort of superstition. It also tells us that their environment must have more than enough food and resources to keep them from needing to cross larger streams and rivers.
  3. Politics: It is interesting that marriageable women are used as a political tool in Yanomamo society as a means of creating alliances because there is a shortage of women. This is not all that surprising since many cultures use this practice since marriage brings together families.

 

-END-

 

[Lanh Nguyen, ltn2@geneseo.edu, 10/20]

Chagnon: ‘Doing Fieldwork…”

1. Politics: A distinguished, charismatic, headsman attempts to keep order in the village and determines the village’s relationships with those in other villages

2. Politics/Ideology: Social dynamics within villages are involved with giving and receiving marriageable girls- arranged by older kin, usually men, who are brothers, uncles, and fathers

3. Ideology: Killing women is considered to be bad form in Yanomamo warfare

 

END

 

{Isobel Connors, icc2@geneseo.edu, 10/21}

 

Chagnon: "Doing Fieldwork..."

 

1. ENVIRONMENT: The Yanomamo live in the Tropical Rain Forest of South America and reside in tiny villages far apart from one another.

 

2. ECONOMIC: The culture relies on hunting and gathering subsistence patterns to survive. They also engage in some horticulture to provide more food for the village.

 

3. ENVIRONMENT: The rain forest of the Yanomamo governs their lives a great deal. There are two seasons—the wet season, and the dry season.

 

END>

 

 

[Anne Kim, ak13@geneseo.edu, 10/22]

 

“Doing Fieldwork Among the Yanomamo”

1. KINSHIP/MARRIAGE: Kinship is based on relationship with ancestors, marriage exchange, etc. it includes the giving and receiving marriageable girls. Marriages are arranged by older kin. The positions of the village’s relationships are due to the kinship and marriage patterns. They are able to become autocrats through their wit and wisdom, however, they still must garden, plant crops, etc.

2. ENVIRONMENT: The people avoid large rivers, which prevents them from meeting outsiders. They take occasional trips into the jungle when they are full of ripe fruits and vegetables. The two major seasons are what affects their lifestyle. The wet season makes travel difficult, while the dry season is a time to travel and feast.

3. POLITICS: Marriage is a political process. This is because girls are promised in marriage while they are young, and the men who do this attempt to create relationships with other man through marriages.

 

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[Dan Lilly, djl5@geneseo.edu, 10/22]

Chagnon - "Doing Fieldwork Among the Yanomamo"

 

ENVIRONMENT: The Yanomamo are distributed in small tribes that are scattered throughout the forest. This must make it exceedingly difficult to study them on the whole, especially if/when travelling between villages is treacherous.

ENVIRONMENT: Like many peoples throughout the world, the Yanomamo contend with a wet season and a dry season. While in other, more arid parts, the dry season can be very difficult to survive, the dry season of the Yanomamo is when they travel, party and feast, while during the wet season flooding makes travel difficult. Basically, I want to visit the Yanomamo in the dry season.

KINSHIP/MARRIAGE: For Yanomamo women, marriages are arranged by the men, which isn't too surprising. It is interesting, though, that there is a shortage of women, partially due to the fact that men can take more than one wife.

 

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[Kaitlyn Northrop, krn3@geneseo.edu, 10/22]

 

Chagnon: "Doing Fieldwork..."

 

1.) Kinship- Yanomamo had strict name beliefs. Instead of using names out of courtesy and respect they used kinship terms such as "father" and "uncle".

2.) Kinship- Family is very important to them because life is short. As soon as girls are of age to reproduce, they are married and then begin having children to keep people going.

3.) Environment- Cycle of seasons has influence on Yanomamo life. The wet cycle prevents travel where as the dry season features feasting, trading and politics among allies.

 

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Alfred Dilluvio Ajd12@geneseo.edu 10/22

Environment: The environment does seem to be more friendly to the Yanomamo group than other cultures we have studied. Their only obstacle is the wet season, which makes travel difficult.

 

Environment: I think it is interesting that The Yanomamo fear crossing rivers which swell. You would think that they would have been able to navigate safely across something which so severely limits their travel. However, it makes me wonder if they have attributed some great spiritual being to guard and protect them from possibly drowning.

 

Politics: I am going to talk about marriage here because marriage, as in many societies, is seen as a political process involving only the men. Marriages are arranged to join groups and families together.

 

[Skye Naslund, sjn1@geneseo.edu 10/22/07]

“Doing Fieldwork Among the Yanomamo”

 

1-The dichotomy of the improved transportation of the dry season provides both joy and fear for the Yanomamo. Because neighbors can come raid their villages, the dry season becomes dangerous, but because they can also go visit relatives in other villages, it is a time of joy and reunification, much like Christmas in our culture.

2-The idea of charismatic leadership of an egalitarian society provokes the idea of “greater among equals.” While the leader does have a recognized position and responsibility to keep diplomatic relationships with their surrounding villages, he rules not out of divine right but by the contentedness of his neighbors.

3-The idea of marriage as a political system differs greatly from our culture. For the Yanomamo, marriage is a way to create alliances, by promising daughters to other men in the society. Because there is a shortage of women, they become a hot commodity and are very important in political decisions.

 

[Shamiran Warda, sw11@geneseo.edu 10/23]

“Doing Fieldwork Among the Yanomamo”

 

Politics: violence is seen mentioned a lot in this reading assignment. I find it interesting how conflicts can even arise when there is a failure to deliver a promised woman. This sadly results often times to internal fighting and conflict where eventually, the village splits up and fissions. I see this tying into the politics category in that I feel the male who was promised something and got something else is showing his power and anger.  Standing up for what he desires will show the others in community his wants and desires; violence arises in hopes of gaining a higher prestige in the community. However, at the same time developing patterns of alliance can also tie into politics where the more friends you have the more power you have over one who lets just say has no group ties.

Kinship/Ideology: I do not find it surprising when the article mentioned that marriages are often times arranged by an older kin, a kin who most likely is a male. This lets us know the status of gender. Men are seen superior to women as seen in numerous other cultures. Another thing I noticed is how it is appropriate for the male to marry more than one wife. However, if a woman does the same thing she is looked upon as a dirty person. It just amazes me how different cultures from different parts of the world somehow still believe in the same ideology and kinship about life.

Ideology/Symbolism: I found it interesting when I read a little about the presences of the missionaries. It is funny how we want to study this group yet at the same time we are wiping their old ways out and often times forcing them to convert to western way of life. As I have been saying in my other wiki’s it is indeed hard to study a group when you are not part of that culture. As the author even mentioned one experiences “culture shock” which often times leave room for bias opinions; We all feel we know what is best for ourselves and others yet in reality we know nothing, only that we are placed here for one reason, to go beyond our limits in life-this is my view point right now. -END-

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[Lanh Nguyen, ltn2@geneseo.edu, 10/23]

Fieldwork among the Yanomamo

1.Politics: In the Yanomamo culture, warfare cuts across the daily lives of their people. We see violence in marriages, social situations, economical situations, and hunting for game.

2. Ideology: It’s funny how in so many primitive societies, like the Yanomamos, socially accept the usage of  hallucinogenic as a technique for relaxation, but in our society, it is forbidden.

3.  Change:  This pertains to Chagnon and his ‘culture shock’ of the Yanomamo people. He was placed outside of his comfort zone and forced to take on an emic approach in order to fully grasp the ideas and concepts of the new culture.

 

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