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Anthropological Warfare

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Science  19 Jan 2001:
Vol. 291, Issue 5503, pp. 416-421
DOI: 10.1126/science.291.5503.416

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A book charging anthropologists with conducting flawed research and mistreating the Yanomamo Indians, a group of 27,000 Native Americans who occupy a Texas-sized chunk of forest around the Orinoco River at the border of Brazil and Venezuela, has reopened old wounds in the community. Many of the criticisms raised in the book have long been voiced within anthropology itself, for Yanomamo ethnography has been a focus of intellectual and political strife for 25 years. But despite the fierce firefight that began even before the book's publication (see sidebar), so far there has been little public soul-searching about the issues raised.