The Controversy Lives on
I finally sat down to watch “Secrets of the Yanomami” (or Yanomamö). I’m glad I set my video recorder to 2 hrs, otherwise I would have missed the coda. This documentary spares no one (and If you don’t know what I mean you should definitely do the research).
All of the players get their moment from Neel to Chagnon to Levi-Strauss and Tizot to Good to the Salesians. Unfortunately, Marvin Harris was not present to reiterate his claim that Chagnon was a sociopath. No one came away unscathed. I can’t go into a detailed review because – I don’t have the time or space to repeat what is already well known.
The Yanomami have unknowingly upset the anthropological establishment and caused an ongoing controversy over whether anthropology is indeed a science or some other social discipline.
Let it just be known that it appears to be balanced (I’m sure some will disagree), the production values are good, and it is sure to fuel years of continued controversy over academia’s effect on one of the last undiscovered tribes. If there are any others they should keep it to themselves.
Heisenberg made the observation that if you know where something is, you cannot know its velocity and there is no way to preserve the state of innocence of an uncontacted society once they have met an alien.