The Proximate Causes of Waorani Warfare

Published on Sep 1, 2019in Human Nature
· DOI :10.1007/s12110-019-09348-2
Rocio Alarcon1
Estimated H-index: 1
James Yost2
Estimated H-index: 2
+ 1 AuthorsStephen Beckerman I14
Estimated H-index: 14
In response to recent work on the nature of human aggression, and to shed light on the proximate, as opposed to ultimate, causes of tribal warfare, we present a record of events leading to a fatal Waorani raid on a family from another tribe, followed by a detailed first-person observation of the behavior of the raiders as they prepared themselves for war, and upon their return. We contrast this attack with other Waorani aggressions and speculate on evidence regarding their hormonal underpinnings. On-the-ground ethnographic observations are examined in light of the neuroendocrinological literature. The evidence suggests a chain of causality in launching lethal violence, beginning with a perceived injury, culminating in a massacre, and terminating in rejoicing. Although no blood or saliva samples were taken at the time of this raid, the behaviors were consistent with a deliberate initiation of the hormonal cascade characterizing the “fight-or-flight” response, along with other hormonal changes. We conclude with observations on the stratified interrelationships of the cognitive, social, emotional, and neuroendocrinological causes of aggression leading to coalitional male homicide.
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#1Shane J. Macfarlan (UofU: University of Utah)H-Index: 9
#2Pamela I. Erickson (UConn: University of Connecticut)H-Index: 10
Last.Stephen Beckerman I (PSU: Pennsylvania State University)H-Index: 14
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#1Hejing Zhang (BNU: Beijing Normal University)H-Index: 1
#2Jörg Gross (LEI: Leiden University)H-Index: 4
Last.Yina Ma (BNU: Beijing Normal University)H-Index: 23
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#1Liran Samuni (MPG: Max Planck Society)H-Index: 6
#2Anna Preis (MPG: Max Planck Society)H-Index: 6
Last.Roman M. Wittig (MPG: Max Planck Society)H-Index: 29
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#1Adrian V. Jaeggi (UCSB: University of California, Santa Barbara)H-Index: 16
#2Benjamin C. Trumble (UCSB: University of California, Santa Barbara)H-Index: 17
Last.Michael Gurven (UCSB: University of California, Santa Barbara)H-Index: 48
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