Homogeneity of the Amazon Basin


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Homogeneity of the Amazon Basin

  • Homogeneity of the Amazon Basin

  • Productivity differences

    • Terra firme
    • Várzea
    • Social Ecology theories (Sociobiology)


Researchers:

  • Researchers:

    • Napoleon Chagnon (1964)
    • William Smole (1976)
    • Brian Ferguson (1995)
    • Judith Shapiro (1972)
    • Kenneth Good (1991)
  • Controversy

    • Are Yanomami Violence and Warfare Natural Human Efforts to Maximize Reproductive Fitness?


Physical Environment

  • Physical Environment

    • 117,500 km2 Orinoco highlands (southeastern Venezuela & northcentral Brazil)
  • Mode of Production

    • 80-90% horticulturalism (plantains, avocados, papayas, chili peppers, tobacco, and 3 types of tubers)
    • Protein food, hunting and fishing
  • Settlement Pattern



Mode of Reproduction

  • Mode of Reproduction

    • 200-250 villages
    • 10-20,000 people
    • Female infanticide & sex ratios
    • Warfare as balance agent
  • Domestic Economy

    • Women’s duties
    • Men’s duties
  • Social Organization



Political Economy

  • Political Economy

    • “fights over women”
    • Importance of trade
    • Distrust and uncertainty
    • Violence and killing
  • Ritual and Leadership

  • Ideology

    • Four-layer cosmos and four-part soul
    • Myth of waiteri “Moon’s blood”
    • Children are vulnerable to malevolent shamans


Shuar-Jívaro

  • Shuar-Jívaro

  • Mundurucú

  • Desana

  • Conclusion




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