writes Napoleon Chagnon.
Warfare is a bond that separates humans and chimps from all other species. "Very few animals live in patrilineal, male-bonded communities wherein females routinely reduce the risks of inbreeding by moving to neighboring groups to mate," write Richard Wrangham and Dale Peterson. "And only two animal species are known to do so with a system of intense, male-initiated territorial aggression, including lethal raiding into neighboring communities in search of vulnerable enemies to attack and kill. Out of four thousand mammals and ten million or more other animal species, this suite of behaviors is known only among chimpanzees and humans."
In their resort to warfare, both chimps and human societies, at least those like the Yanomamo, have the same essential motivation. The chimps are defending fruit tree territory for the females, for their own reproductive advantage. The Yanomamo have the same idea in mind. Capture of women is seldom the prime reason for a raid but is an expected side benefit. A captured woman is raped by all members of the raiding party, then by everyone back home who wishes to do so, and is then given to one of the men as a wife.
But the real reproductive advantage of participating in a raid derives from the prestige of killing an enemy. When a man has killed someone he must perform a ritual purification called a unokaimou to avert retaliation by the soul of his victim. Those who have undergone this ritual are called unokai , and it is well known who they are. The unokais, Chagnon found, have on average 2.5 times as many wives as men who have not killed, and over three times as many children. Chagnon's study of the Yanomamo is unusual because he has studied them over such a long period of time. Despite the thoroughness of his fieldwork, some anthropologists have been reluctant to accept his conclusions, resisting the idea that violence could be reproductively rewarding. One critic, Marvin Harris, suggested that Yanomamo warfare was driven by a scarcity of protein. Chagnon describes the Yanomamo's reception of this idea. "I explained Harris's theory of their warfare to the Yanomamo: 'He says you are fighting over game animals and meat, and insists that you are not fighting over women.' They laughed at first, and then dismissed Harris's view in the following way: 'Yahiyamako buhii makuwi, suwa kaba yamako buhii barowo!' ('Even though we do like meat, we like
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