Last Updated on August 6, 2021 by Neil Mackengie
To us, cannibalism, or the eating of human 8esh, is a horrible thing to think about. Yet it has existed as a practice among certain people and may still exist among some primitive tribes. The first thing we must understand is that cannibals did not eat human flesh because they liked it. They ate it because it was part of a sacred rite, a kind of religious observance.
For example, among certain people of East India a long time ago, it was the custom to tat one’s parents—because they respected and honoured them! Many primitive tribes believe that a man the spirit of whatever he eats. If he eats a lion, he will be lionhearted; if he eats a deer, he will be able to run fast; if he vats a fox, he will be cunning. So the more one of these men respected his father, the more anxious he was to eat him.
Among other primitive peoples, it was the custom to eat a criminal who had been condemned to death, but not a person who had died a natural death. The reason was that they believed that a criminal had offended the gods. Therefore he had to sacrifice to the gods to satisfy them. And since it was the practice to eat or taste sacrifices to the gods, this had to be done even if the sacrifice was human.
Our word “cannibal” comet from Caniba, or Carib, the name of the West Indian tribe among whom the Spaniards first noticed the practice of eating human flesh. Some of the early North American Indians also practiced cannibalism as part of their religion.
Nobody is quite sure how many cannibal tribes still exist. Some authorities think there are none, while others there are some in the interior of New Guinea.
Who Was The Most Famous Cannibal?
Jeffrey Dahmer, a serial killer living in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States, murdered at least 17 young men and boys between 1978 and 1991.