rspb20181859_si_001.xlsx (477.16 kB)

Macfarlan_ESM from Bands of brothers and in-laws: Waorani warfare, marriage and alliance formation

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posted on 17.10.2018 by Shane J. Macfarlan, Pamela I. Erickson, James Yost, Jhanira Regalado, Lilia Jaramillo, Stephen Beckerman
The root of modern human warfare lies in the lethal coalitionary violence of males in small-scale societies. However, little quantitative data exist concerning the form and function of coalitionary violence in this setting. Debates exist over how lethal coalitions are constituted, as well as the motivations and benefits for males to join such groups. Data from a lowland Amazonian population, the Waorani of Ecuador, illuminate three issues: (i) the degree to which raiding parties are composed of groups of fraternal kin as opposed to strategic alliances of actual or potential affinal kin, (ii) the extent to which individuals use pre-existing affinal ties to motivate others to participate in war or leverage warfare as a mechanism to create such ties and (iii) the extent to which participation in raiding is driven by rewards associated with future marriage opportunities. Analyses demonstrate that Waorani raiding parties were composed of a mix of males who were potential affines, actual affines and fraternal kin, suggesting that men used pre-existing genetic, lineal and social kin ties for recruiting raid partners and used raiding as a venue to create novel social relationships. Furthermore, analyses demonstrate that males leveraged raiding alliances to achieve marriage opportunities for themselves as well as for their children. Overall, it appears that a complex set of motivations involving individual rewards, kin marriage opportunities, subtle coercion and the assessment of alliance strength promote violent intergroup conflict among the Waorani. These findings illustrate the complex inter-relationships among kin selection, coalition building and mating success in our species.

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