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Animal Capture and Yanomamo Warfare: Retrospect and New Evidence

Marvin Harris
Journal of Anthropological Research
Vol. 40, No. 1, Fortieth Anniversary Issue 1944-1984 (Spring, 1984), pp. 183-201
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3629698
Page Count: 19
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Animal Capture and Yanomamo Warfare: Retrospect and New Evidence
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Abstract

Much new evidence has accumulated confirming the social and biological significance of meat distribution and consumption among the Yanomamo and other South American tropical forest groups. This evidence disconfirms the assertion that warfare among the Yanomamo and other low-density tropical forest societies has no plausible relation to ecological factors. The salience of the protein capture problem does not rule out the effect of other cultural-ecological factors on settlement patterns and warfare. Any evidence of additional infrastructural sources of intergroup tensions simply strengthens the historically central point that warfare among the Yanomamo and other low-density South American tropical forest bands and village peoples cannot be dismissed as a natural consequence of human agressivity.

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