The Unokai How Misinterpretation Leads To Misunderstanding — страница 2

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was applied. In turn, the view of the level of violence in the society would decrease as well. When the spiritual aspect of unokai is also taken into consideration, the level of violence decreases even more. Similarly, the number of losses of a close relative due to violence decreases dramatically, especially when you take into account that in many of these tribes almost all of the members are closely related. Even one or two killings can be linked by kin relations to affect the entire village population. As we have seen in previous articles, language has a large influence on culture. In this case, a misinterpretation of meaning led to serious political and social ramifications. When the Brazilian government learned of Chagnon s arguments, it had a justification for plans to use

Yanomami land for mining operations. The government argued that these “violent” tribes needed and wanted development and exposure to the western ideals of law. This not the outcome Chagnon had intended from the writing of the article (hopefully), but he should have realized the possibilities for trouble when writing the piece. Further investigation into the Yanomami language could be one answer to the problems presented above. Without a full understanding of the meaning and social contexts which envelop the term unokai, it is unsafe to draw any conclusions from its uses. Chagnon s assumption that the Yanomami s unokai would be equivalent to our notion of killer is based completely on western notions of law and order. By imposing our society s standards onto other cultures,

Chagnon made a fatal ethnocentric error and has started a chain of events which may ruin the society he has studied so passionately. One can only hope that the truth about this delicate society can be brought forth and accepted before they become one of countless indigenous peoples whose cultures are eradicated by our notions of progress. Don t use this essay if you go to U. Of M.!!!!! The Unokai how misinterpretation can lead to misunderstanding