Anthropology: Yanomami: WHAT HAVE WE DONE TO THEM?

A new book charges scientists with abusing the famous tribe, stirring fierce debate in academia

The Yanomami are the celebrities of the rain forest. No tribe on the planet is more lauded, defamed, protected, exploited and fought over. Best sellers chronicle their warlike savagery. Missionaries convert them. Gold miners massacre them. And TV movies zoom in on their loincloths and painted faces, their shaman magic and hallucinogenic habits.

But who is more fierce and primitive? These aboriginals of the Venezuelan and Brazilian Amazon, stars of Anthropology 101 and beneficiaries of rock-music fund raisers? Or the scholars, filmmakers, journalists and do-gooders who have studied them, publicized them and labored to "save" them for four decades? Last week...

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