Lilibeth Medina Cannibalism is normally seen as disgusting and perverse. Linh Kieu Ngo introduces to us the true aspects of cannibalism. It is not something done by perverse humans. It is actually a necessity, rather it be for survival or for religious purposes. I. Most people feel they know all there is to know about cannibalism; people eating people. It is a lot more complex and Ngo helps us understand. A. There are two main types of cannibalism. 1. Endocannibalism: Eating a known person of the group 2. Exocannibalism: Eating an unknown person, an outsider B. Out of these two main types of cannibalism there are several functional types.
Survival Cannibalism: Used as a last resort when there are dangers of starvation. Usually the person dies before they are eaten. 2. Dietary Cannibalism: The “Miyannmin” society practices this type of cannibalism. They capture humans, unknown humans, to be eaten. This is a normal part of their diet. 3. Religious and Ritual Cannibalism: These two are odd considering that they are used in many ways. Cannibalism can be used for sacrifices in a ceremonial fashion, just one person or many. The victim is rarely part of the tribe. Also, in certain African tribes there are many different rituals in regards to fertility.
II. These cannibalism practices are used around the world, they are very common inside the tribes in which they are used, for those of us who are not in any tribe they may seem ridiculous or disgusting, even if they may have some type of logic. A. Survival Cannibalism. 1. “In 1850, four men sailing to Australia from England were stranded adrift in a lifeboat after their yacht sank. When one man became seriously ill, the other three killed and ate him after their supplies ran out. ” (Cultural Anthropology, What are some examples of survival cannibalism? , curiosity. discovery. com) B. Dietary Cannibalism. 1. Similar to the Miyanmin, the people of the Leopard and Alligator societies in South America eat human flesh as part of their cultural tradition. Practicing dietary Exocannibalism, the Leopard people hunt in groups, with one member wearing the skin of a leopard to conceal the face.
They ambush their victims in the forest and carry their victims back to their village to be eaten” (Cannibalism: It still Exists, Linh Kieu Ngo) C. Religious Cannibalism. 1. “The Binderwurs of central India ate their sick and aged in the belief that the act was pleasing to their goddess Kali. ” (Cannibalism, http://www. themystica. om/mystica/articles/c/cannibalism. html) 2. “In Mexico the Aztecs to their deities sacrificed thousands of human victims annually. Following the sacrifices, the Aztec priest and people ate the bodies of the victims believing the acts brought them closer to their gods. ” (Cannibalism, http://www. themystica. com/mystica/articles/c/cannibalism. html) D. Ritual Cannibalism. 1. “Accordingly, Gimi cannibalism is primarily a female ritual whereby women eat the bodies of their own children, husbands, and parents as a way to counteract the life-draining powers of the mother deity. ” (Ritual Cannibalism: Past and Present, James R.
Coffey, spirituality. knoji. com) 2. “Similarly, following the death of a Wari tribesman of Brazil, family members will mourn and wail inconsolably over the corpse for several days until it begins to putrefy. Then it is ritualistically cut into small pieces–initially, the brains, heart, and liver–then roasted, placed on clean ceremonial mats, then distributed among the relatives–the choicest pieces going to the parents and elders. The Wari believe they consume the animal essence of their loved ones which in turn contributes to their own inner strength. ” (Ritual Cannibalism: Past and Present, James R. Coffey, spirituality. knoji. com)