Endemic warfare

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Endemic warfare is the state of continual, low-threshold warfare in a tribal warrior society. Endemic warfare is often highly ritualized and plays an important function in assisting the formation of a social structure among the tribes' men by proving themselves in battle.

Ritual fighting (or ritual battle or ritual warfare) permits the display of courage, masculinity and the expression of emotion while resulting in relatively few wounds and even fewer deaths. Thus one can view the practice as a standard form of conflict-resolution and/or as a healthy psycho-social exercise.Native American often engaged in this activity but warfare occurs or occurred much more rarely in most other hunter-gatherer cultures.

Warfare is known to several tribal societies, but some societies develop a particular emphasis of warrior culture (such as the Nuer of Sudan, the Māori of New Zealand, the Dugum Dani of New Guinea, the Yanomamö (dubbed "the Fierce People") of the Amazon, or the Germanic tribes of Iron Age Europe).

Endemic warfare is not equivalent to "primitive warfare" in general, but is reserved for perpetual low-threshold conflicts. Communal societies are well capable of escalation to all-out wars of annihilation between tribes. Thus, in Amazonas, there was perpetual animosity between the neighboring tribes of the Jivaro. A fundamental difference between wars enacted within the same tribe and against neighboring tribes is such that "wars...
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