Sharanahau People in the To Hunt in the Morning by Siskind

2021-04-23 02:56:02
7 pages
1893 words
Type of paper: 
This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.

Anthropologists do not have an easy time when carrying out ethnographic study hence they have to be patient with the communities. One research problem can lead to discovery of more issues of concern in a society.

Do the sharanahau people have a culture?

They do have rituals that is performed by shaman. They have their way of dressing and painting faces. They also believe in establishing strong kinship ties. Sharanahau have traditional dances and also play games as a recreational activity.

Do the cultural practices have impact on the community?

It has negative effect in that the medicine men do not practice good hygiene or even give the correct medicine which can lead to serious illness or even death.

Is there a possibility of the sharanahau People embracing modernity?

Such practices brings about barrier in embracing modernity. Through interaction with anthropologists it makes it easy to understand the world from a different perspective. They carry out trade activities whereby they interact with different communities and this is significant in adopting modernity


Concluding statement on Sharanahau community's life status.


Siskind, J. (1973). To hunt in the morning (No. 305.885 S5). New York: Oxford University Press.


Sharanahau people are a community found in a small town of Marcos near Purus River and a few miles west of Brazil. They have their own cultural beliefs and practices such as rituals, traditional dances, games and norms. Some of the activities they carry out include; fishing, agriculture, hunting and trading. The sharanahau people live a simple life that is far from embracing technology for example they are still using traditional medicine and rituals when seeking healing. They also practice simple trade in Esparanza town which is hardly developed for better commercial activities; the town has a few thatched hats (Siskind, 1975, p.26) .This means they have hardly embraced technology. Planes at times, especially when there is heavy rain they could fail to land because of soaked grass (siskind, 1975, p. 27). This show that they live a very indigenous life and need to develop.

Book review


A book review entails a summary of what the author has written in a given book. In anthropology in most of the instances, an author will discuss a community in length from aspects such as cultural life, beliefs, norms, values, means of livelihood amongst other as depicted in the book To haunt in the morning by Janet Siskind. The author, for example, focuses on the means of the livelihood of the sharanahua aspects found in different communities in the world. Such a scientific study is known as anthropology community when he talks about the journey to go and carry out the fieldwork. They had to fish so they can have something to eat at night. They also had to cross waters which mean the community lived near a large water body, and that could only say that they depended on fishing for subsistence as well as selling the fish to get capital.

Research problem

A book review also entails establishing the research problem of which is the driving force. This is to mean that; it is the reason behind why the researcher finds it necessary to carry out a specific study an individual community. For example, in this book the author has focused on the way of life of the sharanahua community. The outstanding experiences the anthropologist got by interacting with the sharanahau people is the driving force that led him to have more and deeper interest in carrying out research on the sharanahau people (Siskind, 1973).He was much more interested in more than the research problem that brought him onto the field. The anthropologist main research problem was to find out how the people with a primitive culture adapted to diseases, their level of hygiene for example on postnatal care and handling of food. Such led him into looking for more research problems, for instance, the fact that the sharanahua people were acculturated and hence were not ready to take modern medicine but rather preferred the indigenous medicine and way of life (Siskind, 1973). Some of his significant experiences for example included; the fact that he found them to be a proper object of study, since they had a culture of their own as well as a history, they were different from most communities and hence would use such as a comparative sociology (Siskind, 1973). This was important in coming to a conclusion as to why there is the existence of ethnocentrism .This is to mean why communities find it significant to cluster themselves ethnocentric groups that differ from community to community.

Research design

Research design, on the other hand, is what a researcher basis is studied on for example in this scenario the research design is culture. The primary anthropologist aim is to examine how acculturation and natural way of living of the people of sharanahua have affected their adoption to modernity. This, for example, has led to them not to embrace for example healthy way of handling food as well as the delivery process. These are just but a few instances when hygiene should be put into consideration. Otherwise, it possesses serious illness to human beings

The author also talks about kinships whereby the researcher had to dine with the rest of the members since it was a way of showing that the members had a strong kinship tie. Failure to do so was termed as being an outsider, and for the researcher to have an easy time in collecting the data he needed from the people, had to follow what the community termed as a way of doing things.

Lessons from the research design and conduct of the research

Societies are different, and they differ in many aspects including their culture, history, beliefs, norms and the means of their is also clear that conducting ethnography comes along with numerous challenges and hence anthropologists need to empathize with the villages, be friendly and ready to cope with any hardship they might encounter. Anthropologists should also learn the virtue of patience if they have to collect any meaningful information from the people they are studying their culture

Issues arising from the study

Several issues have been discussed for example; there are several problems that researchers, scholars, and scientists encounter when on the field more so to do with ethnography. Incomprehensible languages, for example, the anthropologist took quite a long time to understand the communitys language since most of the sharahanahau didnt speak Spanish as anticipated. Therefore, language barrier became quite a challenge since he could hardly get the answers to the questions he wanted the people to answer. This made him take months so that he can learn the language and be in a position to collect the appropriate information. It is also clear that he sat with the villages and strained as he tried to understand a language he could hardly speak or even understand. Life was also boring and frustrating especially when you cannot understand the language the people are speaking and their means of life that you are not familiar with.

Another problem encountered was the lack of food, proper accommodation and inadequate means of transport for example, the canoe they were using, and at times they thought they were in danger and that they could drown; as they were traveling to the field, and they also had to spend nights in the cold and the rain. Some of the people were also hostile to him, and he had to do some things that were out of his will so that he can have a peaceful coexistence with them and manage to collect the data he wanted. Some of the instances he found the community hostile was when he could have to bring food to a few of the sharanahua people and lie to the rest that, thats all he had, but they got back at him saying he was a liar. Zacharais also wanted to hang out with him despite the fact that he protested that he did not find it right because of their age difference. Another issue raised in this research is the fact that most societies are still living in the eldest way of life, and they could be far much harming themselves while the rest of the society think such people have already adopted modernity. This is because the anthropologist thought that the people of sharanahua spoke Spanish only to realize they spoke a language he could hardly understand. His experiences also gave him an impression that the community was extremely indigenous and that became the driving force for him to want to study their culture even deeper.

It is also clear that one research problem can lead to more than just one research problem hence anthropologists need to have an open mind so that they are in a position to study society or a community deeper and get the best of information that is useful. For example, through being open mind, the anthropologist was in a position to learn more about the community, for example, their origin, where they are currently located as well as their culture. It also helped him to learn about their social organizations, means of livelihood, and their security organizations

Origin, culture, and means of livelihood of the sharanahuaThey are located on the upper side of river Purus in Marcos town bordering Brazil. They rely on hunting and gathering whereby the male and the females both are involved in the hunting and gathering activities. Men are usually expected to go hunting for larger animals while the women go hunting for less large animals for food (Siskind, 1973, p.89).They also rely on the nearby forest for firewood, wild fruits, gardens for the homes as well as construction materials. The river Purus is what they rely on for their fishing activities .the sharanahua also carry out agricultural activities which help them on each day to day survival. Such farming activities, for example, include planting maize, peanuts, beans, and bananas. They carry out trade activities whereby they exchange jaguar skin with the other communities in Esperanza (Siskind, 1973, p.175) The sharanahau people also have a culture whereby they dress in Peruvian style of dressing, for example, the women dress in plain cotton while the male dress in shirts and slacks (Siskind, 1973).they also do a facial painting for the children men and the women of which last for a day. They also practice old dances which are few and occur several times a year (Siskind, 1973).kinship to them are very significant since they are the basis of security. The more the kinship ties they make, the more secure they feel since they are assured of getting sufficient food and war will hardly erupt among them since they have to stay in unity (Siskind, 1973, p.83). The sharanahau people also practiced games especially after hunting with their female counterpart whereby they would compete for the best team.

The people also practiced rituals whereby they believed a snake like shori had the capacity to know the cause of a particular illness and offer a way of healing (Siskind, 1973, p.134).The sharanahau people also believed in visions and cures. They thought that minor injuries and ailments could be cured by taking herbs and leaves from some particular trees (Siskind, 1973). Shaman is the old man who hails the patients by singing to them. He usually knows they cause of illness by seeing the visions given to him by the shori...

Have the same topic and dont`t know what to write?
We can write a custom paper on any topic you need.

Request Removal

If you are the original author of this essay and no longer wish to have it published on the SuperbGrade website, please click below to request its removal: