THE YANOMAMI TRIBE – Where the living eats the dead.

The Yanomami tribe is a tribe of approximately 35,000 people who live in about 200-300 villages in the Amazon rainforest on the borders between Venezuela and Brazil. The people of this tribe are still yet to be influenced by civilization and modernization till this day as they still practice their old culture.

 During menstruation, a female gender among the Yanomami is kept in a bit built of leaves. A deep hole is built for female to squat on as the people of this tribe do not believe in the usage of sanitary pads. Menstruation among these people is known as “roo” which means squatting. During the first week of menstruation of a girl child, she is fed with stick as it’s forbidden for her to touch food for the first week of menstruation.

Groups of Yanomami live in villages consisting of their children and extended family. These villages are usually of about 50 -400 people who live under the same roof called Shabano. Shabanos are usually oval shaped with open grounds in the center.

 The Yanomami are known to be hunters, fishers and horticulturists. The women cultivate cooking plantains and cassava in gardens as their main crops.

 One of the practices that make the Yanomami custom one of the weirdest in the world is how the people of this tribe practice Endocannibalism.  Endocannibalism is the practice of eating the flesh of a dead person. The Yanomami tribe burn the body of a dead person after which they will paint their faces with grime from the burnt body before they proceed to sing and cry as a way of expressing grief.

In the second phase of the burial, they gather the bones remaining from burning the bodies and turn them into powder whilst mixing it with banana soup before serving it for everybody to eat.

In a case where an enemy kills the relative or village member, only the women eat the ashes and after then, a form of revenge is planned against the culprit(s).  A revenge is made on the enemy’s territory on the same night the burial ceremony is held.

Written by Abifarin seyi fodlulah

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