For decades anthropologist Napoleon Chagnon studied the Yanomamö, a remote tribe in South America, learning about their almost-constant warfare — and his findings put him in open conflict with academic anthropologists and the American Anthropological Association. The latter saga is worth an anthropological study in its own right.
It’s a tale of Rousseauians (peace!) versus Hobbesians (war!) and Marxists (materialism!) versus Don-Juan-Darwinists (sex!), and it’s nicely told by Nicholas Wade in this New York Times piece. (Thanks to R.M. for the link.)
Here are Chagnon’s early article in Science and his recent, amusingly-titled book: Noble Savages: My Life Among Two Dangerous Tribes — the Yanomamo and the Anthropologists.