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Yanomami tribe


The Yanomami tribe is approximately 35,000 in number living in over 200 villages in Amazon rainforest. The Yanomami is among the indigenous groups living in the Venezuelan and Brazilian border. They are largest South American isolated group living in rainforest and mountains in southern Venezuela and northern Brazil. Just like many tribes on the continent, they are believed to have migrated from Asia to America 15,000 years ago, and they slowly made their way to South America. The tribe has lived there undisturbed by any society for many centuries save for 1950s when they were considered as outsiders. Despite being isolated from the world, they have remained strong and have remained in charge of their fate. They have lived in small villages commonly referred to as shabonos, and they have been classified as Tropical Forest Indians. Their language consists of four dialects that are; Sanuma, Yanam, Yanomamo and Yanomámi.

The Yanomami tribe's behavior has included many characteristics usually connected among their groups using singular perspectives. They have long relied on their forests for food and shelter where they have practiced hunting and gathering. The common game animals in the forests are wild pigs, tapirs, monkeys, birds, Armadillos, and rodents. They consider caterpillars as food that is very desirable the same as grubs living in palm fruit seeds. Though they do not rely much on fish, they usually take advantage of its availability in some periods of certain seasons. On gathering, bananas, palm fruits, and honey have been the most desired by the tribe. Apart from hunting and gathering, the Yanomami tribe practices horticulture as most of their food production is from domesticated gardens' plants. The Yanomami are quite knowledgeable about crops with plantains being the most important among their domestic food. The tribe has been very obsessed with tobacco, and they grow it as stimulant and cash crop.

The tribe's religion has been based on the principles of Animalism. The Yanomami tribe has held the belief that forests not only permit to find food and plants, but also they are the places where the spirits exist and are ever present. The spirits have animal names usually called hekura. Any death of a community member is attributed to hekura. Rituals are very vital to them, and they perform them when angry or when celebrating a good harvest.

They have a warfare military which fights for them when invaded or when they want to take revenge. They practice polygamy with life in the village being centered on a small unit of the large polygamous family.

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