The Finger (1947?)

James A. Landau JJJRLandau at AOL.COM
Wed Jan 16 02:04:32 UTC 2002

First, a note to Kathryn Abbott:  the statements you were objecting to were
made by carljweber, not by myself.  I merely passed on something I once read
about the name "Mohawk" and qualified it by saying "I am told".  My source
was a book entitled "Man's Rise to Civilization" which is currently AWOL from
my home library, so I cannot confirm that I even quoted it correctly.

This same source, as I recall, made the statement that the Iroquois, at least
the ones that formed the Five Nations, were masters of psychological warfare,
so it was a reasonable conclusion that the Mohawk, whether or not they
actually were cannibals, were quite happy to have other Native Americans
thinking they were.

In a message dated 01/15/2002 5:09:32 PM Eastern Standard Time,
carljweber at MSN.COM writes:

> All of the Amerindians were anthropophagic.

This statement to me sounds suspiciously like a blood libel.  Aside from the
Aztecs, whose ritual cannibalism seems to be well attested, I will insist on
reasonably good evidence on Native American anthropophagy.  (This includes
the Caribs, for whom I have never seen any well-attested evidence for
cannibalism.  The Caribs must have had a reputation among their neighbors
resembling that of the Iroquois among theirs, and both sets of neighbors
appear to have accepted the legend of cannibalism.  That legend could have
been due either to fear or to denigration of enemies---the Native American
equivalent of "gook"!)

Also a correction to myself---"Corn-cracker" does not refer to a type of
food.  As I should have remembered from the folk song "Jemmy crack corn", a
corn-cracker was someone who converted kernels of corn into corn meal.

                   - James A. Landau

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