Re: Anthropophagy

Jacques Guy (
18 Dec 1994 10:16:02 +1100 (JAMES BENTHALL) writes:

>Canabalism, as we understand the
>term today, did NOT EXIST! The human body has been, and still is, considered
>sacred by all people. I doubt if any group, contrary to the wisdom of Marvin
>Harris, ever roasted humans whole and ate them with relish! Cannabilism was
>an _apparatus_ of colonialism.

Around 1902 a chap called Festetics de Tolna, a Hungarian nobleman as the
name suggests, published the memoirs of his travels around the world, with
lots of photographs. He happened to anchor at Hog Harbour in Espiritu
Santo (New Hebrides, now Vanuatu). He writes how he landed on the shore
and traded with a group of native. How, after he'd returned to his yacht,
another group came down, defeated the first, and forthwith started
cooking and eating the dead. Since I did my PhD fieldwork in that
very area 70 years later, I could check a lot of things -- and those
which could be checked (customs described, photos of natives in the
now defunct traditional garb) fit.

Arens's thesis is a spawn of the usual intellectual dishonesty.
Along the same dishonest lines I will happily argue, as James
Benthall does later in his post, that human beings never killed
others in wars. Only for *ceremonial reasons*.

As for myself, I have never eaten animal or vegetable matter for
sustenance. Only for *ceremonial* reasons. I am French, and you
know how important cooking is for the French, and the setting
of the table, and selecting the proper wines, and... It's all
ceremonial. So there.