ANT101: Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
Instructor: Michael King
November 12, 2012
1. Introduction of culture
In the Amazon area of Ecuador located in South America, the Huaorani people exist. Their tribes are foragers and are also known as Waorani. These tribes are a traveling community and are also warring tribes that tend to spear other people spontaneously during disagreements and settling scores especially with the Western civilization. Huaorani’s are both horticulturalists and foragers who use spears to kill wild livestock such as pigs, deer, chimpanzees and they cultivate manioc and bananas. In this society women and men are of equal value and depend on each other. They cannot on living without each other’s presence because each has their own duties to fulfill in the tribe. Women are responsible for cultivating the crops and harvesting them and the men of the tribe are the one to go and get the livestock (hunting). This tribe has an ordinary way of healing their wounds and sicknesses with herbs found in the Amazon (Mann, J., 1982).
There are two reason that the Huaorani are famous for; (1) In the 1960’s, a number of Westerners made contact with Huaorani, and presented some bartering items in hopes of attracting their attention. Their plan was a successful one, but with their aggressive warlike nature, the Huaorani took the items and killed all the Westerners and the attack was caught on film. (2) The Huaorani and their supporters a part of legal conflict with oil companies that constructed pipelines through their conventional lands. Per the Huaorani, the pipelines are destroying their environment causing them to fight for it (Nowak, B., & Laird, P. (2010), Ch. 4, summary).
These tribes carry blow guns and attached to them are poisonous darts in an empty gourd placed on the chest for safe keeping. The individual takes the dart front the gourd and puts it in the blow gun. Since something light weight and fast is needed, the dart is a soft palm fern stem and it catches the target that is being hunted. The hunter burns the tip to make it hard and sharp, much like a tooth pick, but is twelve inches long. The “oomae” (poison) has to be extracted from the bark of a vine that is unknown in the forest. The Huaorami have different features; from those of other tribes in Ecuador. The overall population of “appropriately 4,000” speaks Huaorani language that makes this community (Saint, S., (2005). Studies have shown that the Huaronian language is not associated with any other languages spoken in Ecuador. The Huaorani people are sandwiched between the Curaray and Napo rivers which is notorious for the cap rock (oil trap) and logging which in Ecuador can get people in trouble with the law.
This community is well known for the gruesome way they attach foreigners and other tribes around them to care for their culture Kaplan, Larrick, Yost, 1980). Back then, the Waorani tribes were hunters and gathers as a source of survival and were people of the forest. In lewd of the technologies present advance their life had drastically changed. For this influence the Haurani are no longer travelers and presently have a permanent community.
The settlement is made of five groups and they are the Tagareri, Onamenane, Huinature and Taromenane that are made of two groupings. Their beliefs have isolated their people from that do not share their beliefs and have not lived in the forest. This isolation is done of their free will for their civilization to prevent unwanted influence. The world has become much greater than the forest as they would see it that they live in. Because of this they would rather remain in the forest since it has been their home for many years. According to the Huaorani, the forest is a safe haven from danger and the unknown (supernatural). They treasure what they do best; which is hunting, gathering, and the…