Lets talk about Cannibalism.
I recently came heard about a book that piqued my interest, especially around this time of year, called Dinner With A Cannibal: The Complete History of Mankind’s Oldest Taboo. In the book Carol Travis–Henikoff goes into a detailed history of cannibalism, covering the variety of tribes that still perform this ritual today – and the belief system that surrounds it.
Let me drop some pre-reading knowledge on ya:
Survival cannibalism. This well-documented variant involves consumption of human flesh in emergency situations such as starvation. Some of the most famous cases are the 1846 Donner Party in the Sierra Nevada and the South American athletes stranded in the Andes in 1972, whose plight later became the subject of the film Alive (1993).
Endocannibalism. Endocannibalism is the consumption of human flesh from a member of one’s own social group. The rationale for such behavior is usually that in consuming parts of the body, the person ingests the characteristics of the deceased; or through consumption there is a regeneration of life after death.
Exocannibalism. Exocannibalism is the consumption of flesh outside one’s close social group—for example, eating one’s enemy. It is usually associated with the perpetration of ultimate violence or again as a means of imbibing valued qualities of the victim. Reports of this practice suggest a high incidence of exocannibalism with headhunting and the display of skulls as war trophies. The majority of the controversies about the practice of cannibalism refer to endocannibalism and/or exocannibalism.
Have a safe Halloweenie everyone!