Protein deficiency and tribal warfare in Amazonia: new data

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Science  02 Mar 1979:
Vol. 203, Issue 4383, pp. 910-913
DOI: 10.1126/science.570302


Increasing numbers of anthropological studies about native Amazonian warfare and demographic practices attempt to explain these phenomena as competition over or a response to scarce game animals and other sources of high-quality protein. Recently completed field research among the Yanomamo Indians living at the Venezuela-Brazil border indicates that their protein intake is comparable to that found in highly developed industrialized nations and as much as 200 percent more than many nutritional authorities recommend as daily allowances. Recent data on other Amazonian tribes likewise fails to indicate a correlation between protein intake and intensity of warfare patterns.