Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Weapons


The tribe in Venezuela which has received the most attention and fame is the Yanomami tribe, often called, The Fierce People. One who did not know better would assume that they are the predominant people group in the amazonian jungle of Venezuela for not only are they war like, they outnumber every other tribe in the region. My husband would often warn that if the Yanomami ever learned to count higher than two, they would realize the Ye'kwana were much fewer than they and take over! ( The Yanomami counting consists of , 'one, two, and a whole lot')

The truth is , the Ye'kwana dominate the amazon region and the Pemon control the sabana. Why is this when the Yanomami are more numerous ?

The Yanomami/Sanema are very violent by nature. Their culture promotes violence and it is the means of acquiring just about anything, including women. Their tendency to violence and war has meant that the Venezuelan government has tried to limit their access to guns as much as possible. This has never stopped the Yanomami from killing! If they can not get their hands on a gun, they will kill with a blow gun, or bow and arrow, or machete, or, if they must, a club. If that fails, they will resort to witchcraft.

This warring between villages can only be curtailed in one way. If a Yanomami village is feeling weak or just needing a break from fighting, they will move in next door to a Ye'kwana village. This provides them a bit of protection from the rest of their own tribe.

Again, why is this? Simple, the Ye'kwanas have guns. Nearly every male Ye'kwana has a gun, primarily for hunting, but also for protection from jaguars, snakes, and other predators. The Ye'kwana will not permit the Yanomami to 'war' near their villages, and since the Ye'kwanas have the guns, they make the rules.

This does not by any means deter the Yanomami from murdering, it just means they have to ambush the intended victims far away in the jungle, on a lonely trail.

The Ye'kwanas all have guns in their homes at hands reach. I only heard of one homicide while living among the tribe. This murder was brought about by alcohol. I also saw one suicide by gun shot, also involving alcohol. The preferred method of suicide among the tribes is to drink the poison of the unprocessed cassava root which is a type of cyanide and brings instant death. Suicide among the tribes is fairly common especially among the women.But suicide can not be blamed on the guns.

Murder by gun shot is practically not heard of because every man knows the next man also has a weapon at the ready. This deters the violence from escalating to that point.

Indian children grow up with guns, loaded guns all around them, yet, they do not accidentally kill themselves or each other. Why? Because they are taught to obey adults. They are taught to respect their elders and guns. They have seen first hand the damage a shotgun does to a deer, they know that as a toddler if they even stretch forth a hand towards a gun, they will be punished. It is just not a problem. Teach kids to obey and to respect first off and then, everything else falls in to place!

My point in all of this is simple...guns don't kill people. People kill people. Whether it be as the Yanomami , with a stick or a stone, or as some would, with a gun, the problem is the society that does not promote respect for life. That is why we have violence, not because of guns.

I often wonder, why are people so intent to take away our right to own a gun? If you look at crime in our nation, the common element seems to be alcohol and drugs.

Why don't we work harder at eliminating those from society?

17 comments:

The Frank Family said...

So true jungle mom!!! The sooner that people begin to view a gun as a tool the better a society we will have. Focus on the real problem and don't blame the gun. As Larry the Cable Guy says "that's like blamin' my pencil for misspelled words!!!"

Tom & Kandice Keegan said...

I couldn't agree with you more. We just bought our first gun yesterday. I always liked the saying, "If you outlaw guns the only people who will have them are outlaws."

Pam said...

So true! It tickles me how many parents are so squeamish about having a gun in the home but yet they will have knives right out on the counter. Has a knife ever jumped out of a drawer or off the counter to kill? NO! Neither has a gun jumped out of a closet or cabinet to kill! These same parents may have pools in their backyard, which according to statistics a few years ago, caused more deaths than guns did. I think many parents listen to the liberals and the mainstream media and take what they hear from them as gospel.

Abouna said...

Those in America who want to take away our RIGHT to keep and bear arms, know that an armed populace cannot be enslaved by a government that turns tyrannical. The first step toward subjugating the citizens is to disarm them.

Becky said...

So very true!

My dad, an avid game hunter, always had guns and ammo in our home when I was growing up. We learned very early on the extreme reverence for and caution and care that must be taken around guns and ammo, just as we were taught proper safety around electricity (hairdryers near sinks, etc.), and power tools in the garage, and blenders in the kitchen, and chemicals under the kitchen sink...

It's always rather interesting how quickly anti-gun folks change their tune when there are a rash of break-ins in their neighborhoods.

Rebecca said...

My thoughts exactly Jungle Mom. I can answer one of those questions though. Congress will never enact any legislation to eliminate alcohol from our country. They drink too much of it. I'm not saying all of them but you get my point. People don't want guns in the house but think nothing of having a well stocked and unlock liquor cabinet. And then are shocked to hear of a child starting to drink at the age of 8.

Shortstuff said...

Thats so true! I saw a bumper sticker that said "Guns kill people like spoons made Rosie O' Donald fat."
Or something like that

crazy4danes said...

I totally agree...and not only are drugs and alcohol a problem, but the parents are a huge problem too like you said.

My dad had several guns in the home when I was growing up...I had four younger brothers...the gun was NEVER an issue...we knew not to go near them, even though they were kept in lock boxes, we still didn't go there. We were taught how to use them, and how to respect them. And my Dad respected them...he never went around the house brandishing his weapon loaded in his underwear. We were taught that guns should not be used for intimidation or to solve problems. But for hunting and target practice, collecting, and in extreme cases, self-defense.

I like the Frank Family comment from Larry the Cable Guy..."that's like blamin' my pencil for misspelled words!!!" LOVE THAT! So true!

Bar Kochba said...

One cannot serve G-d under the influence of alcohol or drugs. These are very bad influences.

The Hermit said...

Hey, the Yanomami must be a lost tribe of Southerners, like the lost tribe of Israel!

Stout looking guy there with the gun. I wouldn't cross the street to mess with him.

Charles said...

The idea that you won't shoot anyone because they ( and their family ) all have guns works I guess. It's kinda like the U.S. / Soviet MAD policy.

MAD policy where we are afraid because we may kill every thing. No wonder it's called MAD

Brenda said...

Is the author of this post an anthropologist? Or the wife of a Marine? j/k Great post. I agree.

The Localmalcontent said...

First, a substantial lesson on the value of proper gun training, ownership! Thank you for that.

Next: You have been tagged again, Rita, this time from me at The Local Malcontent blog.

Pat said...

BRAVO!!

Even and uneducated man and child can figure that out, yet our "civilized" government cannot!!

Go figure.....

The Frank Family said...

I just added you to my blogroll. I'm not quite sure how you weren't already there.

MK said...

"...alcohol and drugs. Why don't we work harder at eliminating those from society?"

Much easier to go after the honest law-abiding gun owner JM, that's why. It's amazing how us superior westerners don't get what villagers in a South American jungle have known all their lives. I guess progress can also go in different directions. it's a matter of opinion now i guess.

KG said...

Fascinating post, Jungle Mom.
And so true. But then, commonsense and truth aren't exactly what the anti-gun crowd are about, are they?