What I was least prepared for, Lac confides to his field journal, was the lack of privacy. I’m reluctant to use a value-laden term like pushy, but no other word so accurately denotes the characteristic of the Yanomamö that’s most salient to an outsider, at least an outsider from a more technologically advanced society—or from a more mannered society, to use another value-laden term. The men were already easy enough to hear, shouting, making these long, drawn-out howling noises beginning high on the scale and swinging downward, before they even knew Clemens and I were approaching their village again. “Oooooohwwwhhhhoooo,” one would bellow, with another one or two men picking up at various points along the way. But with all the excitement attending our arrival, they became almost deafening.
Continue reading: Notes from the Periphery