“Violence is one of the leading causes of Yanomami death. Up to half of all of Yanomami males die violent deaths in the constant conflict between neighboring communities over local resources. Often these confrontations lead to Yanomami leaving their villages in search of new ones. Women are often victims of physical abuse and anger. Inter-village warfare is common, but does not too commonly affect women. When Yanomami tribes fight and raid nearby tribes, women are often raped, beaten, and brought back to the shabono to be adopted into the captor’s community. Wives may be beaten frequently, so as to keep them docile and faithful to their husbands. Sexual jealousy causes much of the violence.Women are beaten with clubs, sticks, machetes, and other blunt or sharp objects. Burning with a branding stick occurs often, and symbolizes a male’s strength or dominance over his wife.
They killed so many. I was weeping for fear and for pity but there was nothing I could do. They snatched the children from their mothers to kill them, while the others held the mothers tightly by the arms and wrists as they stood up in a line. All the women wept… The men began to kill the children; little ones, bigger ones, they killed many of them.”