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3223 - Yanomami childhood: learning and socializing in a communal house

To live in communal houses in today’s world is an exceptional reality restricted to few traditional populations and descriptions of social interactions in these particular contexts are an urgent multidisciplinary task. Considering this aspect and conceiving the communal house as a place where yanomami children spend long part of their daily life, this work intends to describe and analyze how does yanomami children are socialized in this particular context, focusing on children’s learning process of reciprocity, as it´s a fundamental social value for the yanomami. In the yanomami society r eciprocity is straightly connected to kinship relations. Exchanging foods, services, trade goods and marriage are key attitudes to strengthen alliances and to reinforce kinship relations. In face of that, yanomami collective houses are privileged places where children are constantly stimulated to comply with reciprocity in a continuous process of learning.  

For the last for years I´ve been working with the yanomami as educational field worker for Instituto Socioambiental, a Brazilian NGO. In this context I've field worked for twelve months in total, where I’ve developed interviews and participant observations. This work were particularly developed on the region of Papiu during the last 2 years, where there are 320 yanomami, organized into eight different communal rounded houses. Observations were taken place of interaction between an specific child and it´s co residents, affine and consanguine relatives, attempting to the nature of the interaction between child and its co residents from different kin, gender and age group. I will present descriptions and analysis of scenes from daily life inside one communal house and on its yard, aiming to contribute to understand the world's diversity about children apprenticeship and learning process.    

Keywords: childhood, socialization, communal house, kinship, yanomami

Author: MACHADO, ANA MARIA (nenhuma, Brazil / Brasilien)

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