Leanne34 (
3 Jun 1994 11:24:03 -0400

In article <>,
(Camilla Cracchiolo) writes:

Having been a student of Bill Arens and having read the book and
heard him lecture about it, it isn't just about being PC. He brings
up the point that no anthropologist has actually "seen" cannibalism
practiced. What seems to always happen is that human flesh is
secretly added as an ingredient in some type of ritual. According to
Arens, no one has ever seen flesh taken from a body and put in
someone's mouth. He considers cannibalism to be a metaphor. As a
grad student, I had asked some of my professors who did fieldwork
among "cannibals" if they ever saw flesh being eaten. None of them
did- this doesn't mean Arens is correct, of course, but it is
intriguing. One reason Arens book made such a splash is that he
concluded that cannibalism is a myth perpetuated by anthropologists
in order to keep the public interested in the discipline. Are there
any anthropologists out there who have witnessed cannibalism? If so,
I'd like to hear about it.