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Click here for Napoleon Chagnon's response to Darkness in El Dorado
by Patrick Tierney
Click here for Peter Biella's refutation of the charge that the Ax Fight was staged.UCSB Professor Napoleon A. Chagnon has been developing an interactive CD ROM based on the film he and the late Timothy Asch produced in 1974, The Ax Fight. The project was initiated at USC by Gary Seaman and Peter Biella, who worked with Asch on the project just before Asch's death from cancer in 1994. Seaman and Biella approached Chagnon and demonstrated a pilot version of the interactive CD ROM and invited him to collaborate in the production of the final version.
Chagnon agreed and, drawing on his extensive demographic, genealogical, and settlement pattern database on the Yanomamo, added a considerable amount of new information that was not available to Asch, Biella, and Seaman. The final product, Yanomamo Interactive: The Ax Fight, contains a wealth of new ethnographic and other data and promises to be a novel and exiciting tool for the teaching of undergraduate and graduate anthropology and also for anthropological research. Users can play the film backwards and forwards and, focusing on specific individuals in the event, develop their own hyptheses and arguments about this seemingly chaotic but ultimately highly structured event---an ax fight that Chagnon and Asch filmed in the village of Mishimishimabowei-teri in 1971.
The interactive CD ROM can be purchased separately or as part of a packaged kit that contains either Chagnon's Case Study on the Yanomamo or one of William Haviland's introductory textbooks (the 4-fields text or the cultural anthropology text). Chagnon has revised his Case Study to integrate the CD ROM more effectively with this monograph. Among other revisions, there is a new chapter that discusses how a dramatic alliance between the Mishimishimabowei-teri and the Bisaasi-teri emerged, ending a war between them that lasted over 20 years.
Be advised that different ISBN numbers are assigned to the CD ROM, Chagnon's case study, and Haviland's two books---and that the 'packaged kits' have, in turn, different ISBN numbers. The publisher is Harcourt Brace, but the CD-ROM is available at Amazon.com.
The ISBN numbers are:
The CD ROM has the following hardware requirements:
|View a useful poster illustrating how best to use the CD-ROM!|
Try out a Web version of the CD-ROM!
This Web version exhibits approximately two minutes of the original Ax Fight film and includes all of the notes and background information necessary to understand the activities occurring in the clip. For best results, you should use a Web browser with the following characteristics:
Web version created by John Kantner
Excerpts from YANOMAMO INTERACTIVE CD/ROM by Peter Biella, Napoleon A. Chagnon and Gary Seaman, copyright (c) 1997 by Harcourt Brace & Company, reproduced by permission of the publisher. This material may not be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means without the prior written permission of the editor.