Re: Anthropophagy

Daniel Rosenblatt (
26 Dec 1994 00:00:20 GMT

George Anketell ( wrote:
: To all who replied to my query, little kids (after the obligatory
: "eee-yeuuuh") will be, if not enlightened, then certainly better
: informed. Pork, eh? And somebody mentioned chicken. At least it's not
: something they think tastes nasty, like spinach.
Or broccoli.

: On second thoughts, maybe we won't mention the chicken .....

: Thank you, especially Daniel Rosenblatt <> and his
: salty settlers.

Dear George--

Thanks for the thanks. I've been poking around my hardrive and
realized I had some more sources for you to look at. I'm posting
this since there seems to be a *huge* interest in the subject (my
newsreader says something like 27 responses to your original
post). Only problem with these descriptions of Fijian cannibalism
is that they probably have no place in a book for children. I have
some thoughts on the relation between sex & cannibalism in
polynesian cultures, but they are beyong the scope of this post.
Anyway, first some juicy quotes:

I saw that their animosity was so great, that they did not
consider the enemies being killed and eaten sufficient to
gratify their revenge, without deriding and degrading them
as it were, after death, which the young girls were doing in a
lewd kind of dance, touching the bodies in certain nameless
parts with sticks as they were lying in a state of nudity,
accompanying the action with the words of the song. I
found out afterwards that the opposite sex were always
selected for the purpose of making the disgraceful end of
their enemies notorious.

--Jackon's Narrative (Erskine, 1853:438)

That night was spent in eating and drinking and obscenity
the blood drank and the flesh eating seemed to have a
maddening effect on the warriors I had often seen men
killed and eaten but I never heard or saw such a night as
that. Next morning many of the poor women were unable to
move from the continuous connections of the maddened

--Turpin's Narrative (quoted in Clunie, 1979:38)

And now some sources:

Clunie, F.
(1979) _Fijian Weapons and Warfare_ Fiji
MuseumMonographs No.1
Endicott, W.
(1923) Wrecked Among the Cannibals Salem: Marine
Research Society.
Erskine, J. E.
(1853) Journal of a Cruise Among the Islands of the Western
Pacific London
Sahlins, M.
(1983) Raw Women, Cooked Men, and Other "Great Things"
of the Fiji Islands. in The Ethnography of Cannibalism
Paula Brown and Donald Tuzin, Eds. Special
Publication, Society for Psychological Anthropology.
Williams, T. (1982 [1858]) Fiji and the Fijians Suva:
Fiji Museum

Happy reading--I hope I run across the results some day (Maybe
when you are done with what you are working you could drop a
post to sci.anthropology?) and Merry Christmas

Daniel Rosenblatt <>
University of Chicago
Department of Anthropology

2/8 Ponsonby Tce
NEW ZEALAND Ph: 011-649-376-5072