Cannibal 2

carljweber carljweber at MSN.COM
Tue Jan 22 18:18:46 UTC 2002

The subject arose -- more or less -- it having been said that the Mohawk
Indians -- experts at psychological warfare -- were happy to have their
neighbors believe they, the Mohawks, would like to have them for lunch --
not really, but to keep them in check.

I said
< All of the Amerindians were anthropophagic.

Others contributed that cannibalism was used simply to "scare the crap out
of " other captives. The term "ritual" cannibalism came up, as if saying
grace before dinner was a mitigation. And slavery as "contingent slavery"
entered the exchange -- somehow "contingent" tenderizing the practice of
Indian slavery. And then to cover another base, cannibalism might be
explained, it was said, as what one tribe might attribute to their neighbors
to demonize them. This all denies a collective historical closet full of

The facts of this practice as widespread among the Amerindians has been
swept under history's carpet. Maybe in general it should be. Do we tell the
boys and girls in fifth grade about this? No. Should we dwell on it? No.
However, to characterize, for example, the  Conquistadors solely by their
atrocity, is an equal miscarriage of history. The barbarisms of our human
forebears is there for all to see.

I was challenged to show evidence. I did.

Jim Landau said
<You have presented evidence that a number of Northeastern Amerindian
plus the Caribs and Aztecs, practiced cannibalism.  However, you are
exceeding your own evidence to state "ALL of the Amerindians..."

This is not untrue. "Many" is much safer. My understanding of human
prehistory is that cannibalism was a given in (many) Paleolithic
culture(s) -- when the Europeans first encountered many of these cultures
around the globe, that's what they found. The ideal of inherent human
dignity is quite recent, and quite European. There's a book being written,
as we speak, of our modern concept of human rights as developing in 16th
century Spain -- as a reaction to events in the New World.

I said
Why the collocation "ritual" cannibalism??

Jim Landau said
<Simply, I made a mistake.  Thinking
about it later, I realized that "ritual cannibalism" is the appropriate term
to describe the Catholic mass.

I say
"rites" of "symbolic" cannibalism is better.

Jim Landau said, regarding my tag "Ontology Recapitulates Philology,"

<An interesting philosophical statement.  Unlike ontogeny and philogeny,
is no evident cause-and-effect relationship.   Ontology is the study of
and existence; philology is the study of descriptions, the things being
described being either real or fictitious.  Hence you are claiming that
(wo)man cannot contemplate existence but is restricted to rehashing
descriptions (not necessarily accuate) of existence.

I simply mean the love of learning with a bent toward language --
For those who have one at all, I assume this the common understanding of the
(with a touch of flattering edutainment for my reader, in the mix).

Carl Jeffrey Weber

The study of being and existence recapitulates the study of descriptions
with no evident cause-and-effect relationship. Nah.

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