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Facial decoration[edit]

As a reader, I'm interested to learn more about the piercings adorning the pictured women. I was surprised not to see this mentioned in the article. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:31, 30 August 2013 (UTC)

You might look at Yanomami women for a reference to the piercings. There's actually not much to say about them: the women consider them to be beautiful, as do the men. Generally they only wear the sticks when they want to appear attractive, not usually when they're gardening or collecting firewood. Often when I was preparing to photograph a Yanomami woman, she would run off to find her sticks and feathers for her ears. Cmacauley (talk) 14:14, 30 August 2013 (UTC)

K. Good[edit]

Kenneth Good (Kenny) actually married a Yanomami and brought her back to the US to live. Upon seeing NYC policemen and policewomen, she wondered if their children dressed the same way (she thought the cops were another tribe).

You should read his book. It's really fascinating: both about the Yanomami themselves, as well as the character and attitudes of Western anthropologists.

Ed Poorwdd


Good disputes Chagnon's characterization of the Yanomami as fierce. After living among them for a year or more, Good makes them sound extremely peaceful. I'd like to see more about their supposed "fierceness". --Uncle Ed 21:24, 13 Apr 2004 (UTC)

I stumbled across another article, though terribly brief, by photographer Victor Engleber who lived in a Yano for a few weeks with the tribe. He didn't report any fierce behavior, but made them seem idyllic and supremely peaceful:
"Although the Yanomami have a reputation for fierceness, in my journeys among them, I could scarcely have found a friendlier people." [1]
-- Uncle Ed 21:25, 6 May 2004 (UTC)
vsdsjsj After having read Chagnon's "Yanomamo", which documents the time he spent with them from 1966-1976, I was surprised to not find any mention of violence. The book talks about several other topics that have been excluded here, but the most striking is the section called "Yanomamo Warfare". In a section called "Levels of Violence" he talks about chest-pounding fights, club fights, then goes on to detail several actual raids he bore witness to. For me, these were some of the most interesting parts of the book. He talks about how in these "club fights", which are only used if traded chest-thumping isn't enough, grown men will take turns hitting each other over the head with heavy 8-10 foot long clubs. "Needless to say, the tops of most men's heads are covered with deep, ugly scars of which their bearers are immensely proud." johnpseudo 05:43, 10 November 2006 (UTC)

I've heard that there are two surprisingly different cultures within the yanomami; those of the lowlands being very peaceful and cooperative, while those of the nearby highlands are highly aggressive and warlike. I don't know enough about the situation there to write about it though.

savage cabbage [yaaaaaa]

I'm doing a report on them currently, read the book "Yanomamo, the Fierce People." He makes it a point to illustrate that they participate in warfare and intervillage raids regularly, as well as "chest-pounding" duels. They seem fierce. Perhaps we need to define fierce. Regarding foreigners, the Yanomamo apparently regard us as sub-human; hardly a target needing proof of their ferocity. Or perhaps we are talking about their "northern neighbors, the Carib-speaking Makiritare Indians." my name is Izu

-- (talk) 01:32, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

It´s hard to define "fierce" by a foreigner's analysis. We must rememeber these are individuals, how can an exerience inside a small yanomami group define a whole heterogeneous group? And not forgetting that one may behave differently to the eyes of a stranger. Just like anyone receiving a visit. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:24, 25 March 2011 (UTC)

Read about the club fights in The Mating Mind and didn't see anything about it in the Wikipedia article. Here's an article that goes into more detail, with pictures of the wounds: — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:18, 9 December 2014 (UTC)

site, big, war, peace, cannibal[edit]

First-hand account of a raid. Not for the faint of heart. Still, Yanomamiland is big, and diverse, and there seems no proof that the people as a whole are in a constant state of warfare. I think certain tribes were able to live peacefully for extended periods of time. --RL

The inclusion of a link to the film "Cannibal Holocaust" is questionable.

The film link seems ok to me in that tribe is (inaccurately) depicted in the film. It is worth mentioning or linking to because of the films notoriety and the false impression it brings to the tribe. However, on a related note the article on Cannibal Holocaust (now a FA) claims that the tribe practices post-mordum cannibalism. I came to this article because of that reference to see if the two articles agree. There is no mention of it here (other than the last section about their traditions about nothing of the body being allowed to remain, which could mean a lot of things). The other article gives the source for this claim as:
Chagnon, Napoleon A. [1968] (1996-11-15). in George and Louise   
Spindler: Yanomamö, 5th edition, Fort Worth, Texas: Wadsworth 
Publishing. ISBN 0-15-505327-2. 
Perhaps we should double check the source then include a section which describes the tradition in an encyclopedic way, as well as discussing the misrepresentations of the film. Dalf | Talk 21:07, 23 February 2007 (UTC)

The source is correct. It's called funerary cannibalism, which in the case of the Yanomamo involves burning the body, grinding up any remaining bones and ingesting the ash and ground bone, usually mixed in some sort of drink. If I get some spare time I'll try to write something up. --Woland37 20:58, 30 April 2007 (UTC)

Dirk Wittenborn, Fierce People[edit]

Is this book actually source material on the Yanomami? I haven't read it, but the reviews I've seen suggest that it's a novel about life in the USA, and that the name is an ironic reference to Chagnon's work. --Dependent Variable.

Fierce People[edit]

There's a movie called Fierce People, to be released in July. But trying to find it on Wiki gets a redirect to this. Most movies do have wiki-articles, and I suspect this one does too - but if so, it's lost. PiCo 05:08, 27 May 2007 (UTC)


Why is this article entitled Yanomami? The tribe's name is Yanomamo. -- Interrupt_feed (talk) 02:15, 18 February 2008 (UTC)

I absolutely agree. The closest pronunciation to the how the word is said by the people themselves is a thoroughly nasalized Yąnomamö or by some accounts, Yanoamo. I don't really know how to change article titles in wikipedia but I'm going to look it up and change it. From the rest of the article, I suspect the article was originally titled Yanomamo but was changed by someone else. Abhishekbh (talk) 04:57, 6 March 2008 (UTC)

I thought Yanomamo was singular and Yanomami was plural? Asarelah (talk) 05:00, 6 March 2008 (UTC)

I'm quite sure that's not true Asarelah. Yanomami just crept in with various publishers picking that title after removing ᵻ from yanomamᵻ. I can't find the exact character, but that is basically an i with a dash through it. Just like Argentine people are called Argentine singular or plural, the Yanomamo are called Yanomamo singular or plural. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Abhishekbh (talkcontribs) 09:06, 6 March 2008 (UTC)

Some communities name themselves Yanomamo, but most use the term Yanomami. Here in Venezuela, Yanomami IS the usual term. I spent two weeks with the Mavacateri, and the clearly called themselves Yanomami. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:05, 20 August 2008 (UTC)

This article is in English. The Yanomamo or Yanomami live in areas of what is now Brazil and Venezuela, countries where the languages spoken are Portuguese and Spanish. Neither of those 3 languages have the letters "a" and "o" as shown now. How then can be claim that the title is to be written with those letters? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:28, 12 September 2009 (UTC)

Major edits required to the article[edit]

Other than being written in an inconsistent tone, the article also contains many useless and non-scientific bits, such as "The yanomami peoples are polite peoples". I'm going to try and rewrite the parts of the article that I believe are either not-fair or factually incorrect. Anyone here who wants to join me, let's take the next few days to do justice to this very important bit of science and a very interesting and rare people. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Abhishekbh (talkcontribs) 00:39, 8 March 2008 (UTC)

I liked your edits, but can't find a way to revert them, too many edits since then. Frustrating.Levalley (talk) 17:41, 8 April 2009 (UTC)

I removed some of the unencyclopedic bits--more could probably go. The dispute over whether the tribe is actually fierce or not should definitely be included in the article; it's quite controversial. Nareek (talk) 12:57, 8 March 2008 (UTC)

Levalley (talk) 17:41, 8 April 2009 (UTC)Popular viewpoints on the Yanomamao would make an interesting topic, but the point is that they regard themselves as fierce and their name means "Fierce People," so when you ask them, "What do you call yourselves here?" They respond "Fierce People." That's all that needs to be said. Much of their etiquette can speak for itself as to whether they are "fierce" or not.Levalley (talk) 17:41, 8 April 2009 (UTC)

That is all mostly a media controversy. The tribe is fierce in the same way all tribal human beings are/were. But yeah, a paragraph should be included to explain that perhaps. I have just upped some stuff, I'm going to keep putting in stuff through the next few days. Abhishekbh (talk) 19:11, 8 March 2008 (UTC)

I absolutely agree. And Wikipedians tend to make edits according to what they read in newspapers - we have to keep in mind I suppose that Wikipedia is a popular source of knowledge, not an academic one.Levalley (talk) 17:41, 8 April 2009 (UTC)

It would be nice if someone could make the verb tense consistent, i.e. "The Yanomamö are/were..."Pammalamma (talk) 07:04, 29 July 2008 (UTC)

I fixed a few conjugation mistakes, but I'm sure I've missed some. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:59, 15 November 2010 (UTC)

User:Abhishekbh's edits[edit]

Abhishekbh, I reverted[2] some productive and well-intentioned edits you made. While I felt these edits enhanced the factual content of the article, they seriously degraded the format and readability. If you're interested, I've dumped your version of the page into your userspace. You can find and work on it here: User:Abhishekbh/Yanomamo

I'd recommend the following adjustments:

  • Please include more frequent citations, including specific page number(s) from Chagnon's book. If you can tell me what pages of the book you're using for each sentence or group of sentences, other wikipedians can help with the citation format
  • Your additions need extensive copy editing and proofreading; there are major issues with capitalization, grammar and tone. I can help somewhat with this too, if you like
  • You introduced very long sections with almost no wikilinks. Unfamiliar words and important technical terms should be linked. Compared to the other problems, this is easy to fix.
  • I feel your paragraphs were long, rambling and hard to digest.

Others may disagree with my reversion, and that's fine. Just remember that preserving wiki-formatting and readability is as important as the substance of the article itself.--The Fat Man Who Never Came Back (talk) 19:49, 5 April 2008 (UTC) all honesty, I'm a little surprised. I re-read what I wrote and I do not think it was so bad in grammar or tone that it was unreadable. Considering the article is supposed to be a factual-technical description and not a narration, I think it did fine on those fronts. Yeah, I capitalized the word 'shabono' unevenly, but stuff like that can be easily corrected by anyone.
In virtually all non-fiction literature, stylized grammar is not given the same treatment that it is in some other circles; I am of the belief that minor issues like that should not be made criteria for deletion. If it were, nearly 90% of all published books would have to be removed as well. Again, this is keeping in mind that I think the article is readable and not as bad as it is being made out to be.
Frankly I don't really have the time right now to re-write the article, and I would be in favour or restating it, with corrections wherever required of course. Perhaps we could get input from some other readers here. I had a lot more to add to the article, but I'm going to put that on hold for now.
It's fair to say that the article needed more specific citations, and I'd be happy to add those in if restated. Abhishekbh (talk) 08:46, 7 April 2008 (UTC)
Writing style is matter of personal taste, I suppose, but I found those paragraphs extraordinarily hard to read; the language simply did not flow smoothly. However, there are a lot of great copy editors here, and we could certainly use your additions as basis for improvement. If you can find provide the page number references for the individual statements, I can help with copyediting and style. Also I don't think you should place any forthcoming improvements you had "on hold." I'm not trying to discourage anyone; I merely felt your version was not ready for "prime time." That's why I didn't "delete" your version--I merely moved it to your user space. Are you opposed to working on the article there--even if you have help?--The Fat Man Who Never Came Back (talk) 15:27, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
Well to get an idea of exactly what you mean by "hard to read", perhaps you can edit some of what I wrote and put it back into the article so that I may see what needs to be addressed and then correct it. Abhishekbh (talk) 02:02, 14 April 2008 (UTC)


It is absurd to use a lemma, "Ya̧nomamö", which practically no-one will be able to enter correctly on their keyboard and which practically no English speaker will have a clue how to pronounce. Even the Encyclopedia Britannica uses the lemma "Yanomami" and specifies in the text that the name is also spelled "Yanomamö" or "Yanoamö". Maikel (talk) 10:42, 16 June 2008 (UTC)

Helpful Additions?[edit]

I think it might be nice to add more information about the Yanomamö views on sexuality, religion, and ethics, to give more a picture of how they view themselves, instead of how the world views them. There is some very interesting information in this book, Tales of the Yanomami: Daily Life in the Venezualan Forest by Jacques Lizot on these topics, such as the prohibition against intercourse with a nursing mother, views on adultery, revenge, and property rights. If anyone is interested, I can add some of this in two new sections on "Ethics" and "Sexuality." Also, views on personal worth ("glory"), religion (the hekare), parenting style, and standards of beauty might be interesting to add. I'm a writer, and I wouldn't mind doing it. However, I only have this one resource, so it would be good to have someone willing to edit it or cite other sources. Pammalamma (talk) 07:01, 29 July 2008 (UTC)

But Lizot is controverisal and many say Lizot was himself involved in having sex with young boys. Bonfire elefantti (talk) 10:05, 20 June 2010 (UTC)

A little more pop culture[edit]

This isn't a very scientific addition, but since the article only includes a couple of pop culture references, I thought it might be useful to add another. There's an entire Metalocalypse episode about the Yanomamoe; it's Season 2, Episode 9, entitled Dethcarraldo (Metalocalypse airs on Adult Swim). Also in the episode, the lead singer of Dethklok, the fictional band that the show is based around, mentions that he's 1/4 Yanomamoe. His name is Nathan Explosion. Basically, the episode entails a trip to visit the tribe, with the usual chaos and destruction that occurs in Metalocalypse episodes. Here's the link to a site where the video can be watched, if anyone's interested: (it's not on DVD yet, and I'm sure that site isn't licensed to have that video on there, but oh well). Metalocalypse is a pretty popular show, so there might be plenty of people who'd find that bit of trivia interesting; I know I tried to look up information about the Yanomamoe based on that episode, but I didn't find much that mentioned Metalocalypse's reference to the Yanomamoe, so it might be nice to include. Unfortunately, the episode isn't a very nice portrayal of the tribe (for lack of a better word), but that's to be expected from a comedy show on Adult Swim. I haven't edited anything on Wikipedia before, so I figured I'd leave it up to people who know what they're doing. Thanks! Tonguetiedsanti (talk) 00:41, 5 November 2008 (UTC)

que bellas foto —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:32, 23 April 2009 (UTC)

Haximu Massacre[edit]

This edit by user:Nareek removed the section heading "===Haximu Massacre===" under the comment in the edit history "Clean up, removing trivia". I have reinstated the section heading because when a domestic court considers and a attack on an indigenous people to be genocidal it is a notable event which warrants a section heading rather than a paragraph buried in section called "==Controversy==" --PBS (talk) 06:11, 1 June 2009 (UTC)

I have moved the sentences regarding the genocide allegations to a new section in the main page Haximu massacre, where it is better suited.--Jacques de Selliers (talk) 21:05, 21 May 2012 (UTC)

First section wording and strange characters in the name "Ya̧nomamö"[edit]

I am not qualified to query any of the content on this page, but the first section does not read well, and it seems to be from a particular view point that is not universal, and perhaps inaccurate;

"This allowed them to retain several aspects of their culture that factors such as population explosion and growth in material wealth have eradicated from the rest of the world."

I just think it could be reworded to simply say that their relative isolation has allowed a greater degree of cultural preservation than many other contacted first nations.

Also the name " Ya̧nomamö " does not show properly on my computer. There is a square box for the third letter and I cannot ascertain which special Yanomami character it is trying to display or where I can download the necessary alphabetical symbol. It must be doing this for most other readers as well and I suggest an equivalent letter displayable on most versions of Windows should be used.James Frankcom (talk) 17:16, 26 November 2009 (UTC)

I have been writing "Yanomamo" for 30 years. Why are we changing this?
I too am seeing "Ya̧nomamö" with a square for the 3rd character.
It's not pronounceable. What is the value in doing it that way?
Which character set do we need to see the title of the article?
There should be a notice here, such as ---->
We should not be screwing around like this. The Yanomamo are one of the most famous tribes in anthropology.
Varlaam (talk) 03:39, 10 December 2010 (UTC)

This is the spelling Napoleon Chagnon insists is the only accurate one (see footnote to first page of chapter 1). The mark under the a indicates in the Ya̧nomamö language that the whole word is nazalised; any spelling that omits the diacritics is also said to be wrong. I suppose that's one view, but Chagnon's carries authority. Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 16:33, 12 December 2010 (UTC)

Deliberately out of date?[edit]

This would never fly in an article about, say, the Spanish so what is it doing here?

"This article largely describes a Ya̧nomamö way of life that existed prior to the 1960s. Sustained contact with missionaries, government officials, miners, journalists, tourists, anthropologists and others has led to significant changes to this way of life."

Seriously, this seems very eccentric. Why can't the main part of this page refer to how things ARE and then have a history section about how things WERE? Bonfire elefantti (talk) 10:01, 20 June 2010 (UTC)

Seconded. Shame I don't know enough about the tribe to help. Crisco 1492 (talk) 02:46, 27 March 2011 (UTC)


Jacques Lizot, in the acclaimed documentary "Secrets of the tribe" is reported to have engaged in paedophilia with this tribe. His research should be considered suspect. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:13, 19 August 2011 (UTC)

mmm, no? Rumours of paedophilia does not cause peer reviewed research to suddenly become suspect.·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 14:07, 19 August 2011 (UTC)
It's not "rumours" it's a fact. I've removed his tainted opinion from the article. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:39, 18 May 2013 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: page moved. Vegaswikian (talk) 01:00, 2 December 2011 (UTC)

Ya̧nomamöYanomamo or Yanomami – Per WP:UCN. According to Napoleon Chagnon, Ya̧nomamö is the only correct spelling. However, hardly anyone uses that form—most writers have used and continue to use Yanomamo or Yanomami. In recent years, Yanomamö has grown in popularity, but Ya̧nomamö is still the least commonly used of all the spellings. In 2008, the page was moved from Yanomami to Ya̧nomamö without discussion but with the edit summary claim that Ya̧nomamö is the "standard spelling, per chagnon". Per Chagnon—yes; but standard?—no. Good Ol’factory (talk) 06:12, 25 November 2011 (UTC)

I think Yanomami with an i is the most correct spelling. I haven't seen yanomamo without the ¨ . I agree that Chagnon is not really the authority to follow on this spelling.·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 12:47, 25 November 2011 (UTC)

Support. Britannica`s article opens, "Yanomami, also spelled Yanomamö or Yanoamö". So I see nothing to support the claim that there is a cedilla under the "a." There are dozens of books with the word "Yanomami" in the title. (I would support "Yanomami" as more common than "Yanomamo".) Kauffner (talk) 13:05, 25 November 2011 (UTC)

  • Comment (nom). I'm fine with "Yanomami". It does seem to be the most common. Good Ol’factory (talk) 01:15, 28 November 2011 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Cultural Relativism[edit]

Parts of this article are very leading, rather than objective. For example in the marriage section: "Polygamy is commonly practiced in Yanomami culture, and women are expected to accept this."

This article needs serious revision. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:28, 23 March 2012 (UTC)


Why are the following past tense sentences suddenly appearing in an otherwise-present tense text? " The Yanomami practiced polygyny,[citation needed] though many unions were monogamous." 10:47, 14 June 2013 (UTC)

Blood controversy[edit]

According to this documentary (, the Y. were lied to in that they were told that blood allegedly taken solely for malaria research is actually being sold for pharmaceutical research purposes. Kdammers (talk) 11:27, 14 June 2013 (UTC)

This 2003 film rehashes old allegations from Darkness in El Dorado, many of which have been since disproven. Not sure that it's worth an entry here. Cmacauley (talk) 13:29, 14 June 2013 (UTC)


Breastfeeding women and girls menstruate, so the claim that Yanomami women rarely do it because they are constantly pregnant or breastfeeding seems false.

A reasonably valid point, as the reference cited is Chagnon's error-laden 1974 book. The statement is repeated in each subsequent edition, but it seems doubtful that Chagnon actually investigated this aspect of Yanomami life, or that he could have, as a male anthropologist. Still, the question is, to what extent should Wikipedia just parrot flawed or doubtful research and to what extent should editors decide what is valid and what is not? Cmacauley (talk) 15:30, 29 May 2014 (UTC)
An anon editor has recently blanked this section - I've restored it for now as there seems too little discussion on its value to determine consensus, and it is mostly referenced, even though to Chagnon. It re-raises the issue however, of how much if any of this material should be retained, and what we can do to improve the sourcing. Anyone have any iews on a rewrite? Euryalus (talk) 09:26, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
They're not the only ones: "Over the next decade and a half, from the age of twenty to thirty four, she [spends] so much time either pregnant or breast feeding (which, among the Dogon, suppresses ovulation for an average of twenty months) that she averages only slightly more than one period per year." — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:17, 9 December 2014 (UTC)

Citation needed on polygamy[edit]

I am researching observations of Yanomami polygyny and polyandry to find some decent references.Cmacauley (talk) 14:35, 4 June 2014 (UTC)


What's up with this article's organization? Why is the majority of the Female puberty and menstruation section wordcount devoted to gold miners? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:55, 12 December 2014 (UTC)