Overing, Joanna. 1989. “Styles of Manhood: An Amazonian Contrast in Tranquility and Violence.” In Societies at Peace: Anthropological Perspectives, edited by Signe Howell and Roy Willis, p.79-99. London: Routledge
Piaroa territory is almost completely free of expressions of anger, physical violence, and displays of violent excess. The good life, for them, consists of tranquility and harmony. In their egalitarian society, men and women are equally autonomous. No one supervises the labor of others, there is no concept of a collective will, and there is no ownership of land. The Piaroa highly value social skills and the ability to live together in a community which functions, as an institution, to help prevent relationships of domination from developing. Their shamans teach children lessons in social morality, such as the harm caused by vanity, jealousy, arrogance, dishonesty, cruelty, malice and ferocity; they also teach the importance of mastering the emotions. Piaroa values contrast with those of the Shavante, an American Indian society of Central Brazil, where males dominate females, children are socialized to react violently to situations, and ceremonies celebrate male ferocity, sexuality, and violent ritual dominance of women.
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