Kingdom of YanomamiBy batoruco
The Yanomami live in the Northern Amazon along the Brazil - Venezuela border. Numbering 19,000 roughly equally divided between the two countries, they are the largest indigenous nation in the Americas that still retains their traditional way of life. They are one of the most recently contacted peoples, having very little contact with outside society before the 1980's. Since 1987, the Yanomami have seen about 10% of their entire population - over 2,000 people - decimated by massacres and diseases brought by invaders.
The word Yanomami means human being. They live in small villages, grouped by families in one large communal dwelling called a shabono; this disc-shaped structure with an open-air central plaza is an earthly version of their gods' abode. They hunt and fish over a wide range and tend gardens in harmony with the forest.
The Yanomami people's traditions are shaped by the belief that the natural and spiritual world are a unified force; nature creates everything, and is sacred. They believe that their fate, and the fate of all people, is inescapably linked to the fate of the environment; with its destruction, humanity is committing suicide.