“the subtitle is typical chagnon,” says leslie sponsel, an anthropologist at the university of hawaii and a longtime critic of chagnon “some will interpret it as an insult to the yanomami and to anthropology in general” sponsel despaired that what is known as “the fierce controversy” would ever be satisfactorily resolved. In 1968, chagnon published yanomamo: the fierce people, depicting them as hideous and wild, and creating an image of these unknown people for the rest of the world this publication was and has been widely used in anthropology classes and studies. When napoleon a chagnon researched and wrote yanomamo: the fierce people, from 1964 to 1977, the yanomamo were an american indian tribe that lived in the amazon rain forest, mainly in venezuela and brazil.
Chagnon also fell out with lizot, the french anthropologist, and with timothy asch, an ethnographic filmmaker with whom he collaborated on more than a dozen documentaries the partnership yielded ingenious work, including “ a man called ‘bee’ ” (1974), in which the camera turns, for once, on the ethnographer. Yanomamo: the fierce people sold over one million copies, and made napoleon a chagnon one of the most famous anthropologists in the world nevertheless, many anthropologists reacted negatively to him and his book, and even questioned his honesty. In 1995, brian ferguson, an anthropologist at rutgers university, published a book entitled “yanomami warfare: a political history,” which challenged the sociobiological theories drawn from “the fierce people” and other studies by chagnon.
This book is a case study of the yanomamo in brazil done by anthropologist, napoleon chagnon not only is it a fascinating case study, but it is also very well written chagnon’s use of humor and personal anecdotes does not, however, offset his lack of cultural relativity. But it would be a mistake to see the yanomami controversy as limited to these three individuals and this one tribe more who are the yanomami and why are they important in anthropology through the work of chagnon and others, the yanomami have become one of the best-known, if not the best-known, amazonian indian group in the world. This was a case study of the yanomamo by an anthropologist covering about 37 years it was readable, informative, and empathetic it gives the reader the experience of living with this stone age culture before there was much influential contact with modern culture.
Napoleon alphonseau chagnon (/ ˈ ʃ æ ɡ n ən / shag-nən born 27 august 1938) is an american anthropologist, professor of anthropology at the university of missouri in columbia and member of the national academy of sciences.
Napoleon chagnon has been labeled as the most controversial anthropologist in the united states in a new york times magazine profile preceding the publication of his book, noble savages: my life among two dangerous tribes—the yanomamö and the anthropologists, a scientific memoir.
Chagnon's ethnography, yanomamö: the fierce people was published in 1968 and later published in more than five editions, selling nearly a million copies, and is commonly used as a text in university-level introductory anthropology classes, making it one of the bestselling anthropological texts of all time.