The aztec culture ruled the mexican coast for hundreds of years, they were ruthless and fierce in battle taking many captives. many of these captives were sacrificed to their gods in particular the serpent god. The Spanish kept extensive records when they would explore. There were extensive records that are still being referenced today. However it raised the question for me. could have then been one of the downfalls of the aztec empire?
This section focused on a touchy subject. The child army (LRA) controlled by Joseph Kony. though taking place in the early 2000’s his use of physchological torture through the use of cannibalism. a tactic that was used to make it so that the children when/if they were rescued or escaped they would be shunned If you will. As of 2017 ugandan and U.S. government has suspended the search for kony and the LRA.
the people of Tonga no longer cannibals still reference it in every day life. known as part of the cannibal islands were notorious for eating human flesh. one of the questions that I had is why stop? yes I know a rather redundant question to something that should have never taken place in the first place but why stop? why suddenly give up the cannibalistic lifestyle? the people of Tonga are more than okey with talking about their cannibalistic past with a smile on their face. as if they are proud of it?
the last section in among the cannibals by Paul raffaele, he talks about the Aztec’s and their ritual sacrifices. We know that they actually did sacrifice and eat humans due to the extensive records kept by cortéz and his men. Cortéz notes detailed the “slaughterhouses caked in blood inside and out, the priets outfits were caked in dried blood, their hair uncombed since entering the priesthood was untidy and covered in dried blood” the victims would be sacrificed and the head placed on the skull rack, the rest of the body arms legs, forearms, thighs were used in feasts for the warriors while the torso was most likely feed to the animals. The victims were ritually sacrificed to please their gods specifically the god of war, the sun, and water etc etc. the Aztec’s would follow the strict teachings of the codex. the codex being a special book of the aztec which told al their stories of their people and talked heavily about sacrifice. Not just war captives would be sacrificed there were others within the nation that would be chosen to be sacrificed. However; they were treated as gods before the sacrifice was to take place.
the second to last section of the book among the cannibals focused on the warlord Joseph kony. The african warlord has used cannibalism as the phycholoigal torture device on the child soldiers that he has kidnapped for his army. within the book are eyewitness accounts of this by the children themselves who are rescued. they talk about chopping up their school mates with machete’s, beating to death with sticks to another. When these children return home there is the strong possibility that their family will not accept them back into the family unit. Calling them a disgrace to their family for feasting on human flesh. The way in which Joseph kony “controls” the kids by making them murder and eat other children makes them ashamed to go back to their families thus making kony their “only father”
The children of the LRA are basically brain washed into believing that what they are doing is wrong yes but there is no other way to go about it for fear of dying, mutilation, sold as sexual slaves etc etc. Kony believes himself to be a god amongst the children referring to different texts including the bible, koran, and other such texts to “preach” to the children calling upon the gods of “bruce” and other “American” gods most likely he has pulled them from famous people such as bruce lee.
This week I focused on the the tonga region. These people were known to have taken captives during war and eat them. The prisoners were forced to dig their own oven if you will. The tongans would cook these people like suckling pigs if you will first delivering a killing blow either to the back of the dead or a slice to the throat. stuff the body with hot rocks, place them face down into the pit dug into the ground, place more hot rocks on the back, then cover the pit with leaves for 6 to 10 hours. During the cooking process in a fury of dancing and commotion sex does insue said to please the south pacific gods. Due to this strictly being warriors only warriors were allowed to eat the flesh women, and children were not allowed. It was said the women and children were too vunlerable and would be possessed by the vanquished spirits of the fallen warriors. Cut to modern day the royal family of Tonga admit that their ancestors have eaten human flesh before and commented on the taste being that of suckling pig “long pig” as they call human flesh.
The Modern day Tongan is rather large and partake in feasts on a daily basis that would rival that of the American wedding. they however do relate a lot to their ancestors who would frequently consume human flesh and that they would most likely love the feasts of the modern day. The tongan people seem very proud of the fact that their ancesctors used to eat human flesh even alluding to the face that several people in Tonga do still partake in the feasting of human flesh.
The Korowai people otherwise known as the tree house people also participate in ritual/mortuary cannibalism. These people living in the jungles of indonesia are not aware of the diseases that run rapid through the jungles and mysterious deaths are often seen to be caused by a khakhua or a evil spirit from the netherworld. When reading this portion of the book the author mentions this evil spirit only inhabits and kills men never women. It rose the question as to why? Why do they believe that this evil spirit can only inhabit and kill men? Another question I had was answered rathe quickly in the book. I proposed the question why are the children not allowed to participate in the feast? the answer was rather simple and spiritual, the answer was that the spirit called the khakhua was to dangerous to enter the body of the child as they were vulnerable. The kororwai do not believe that the khakhua are people thus it is okey to eat the body.
The book among the cannibals By Paul Raffaele talks about several different tribes that still feast on human flesh. The first tribe he talks about is the korowai of new guinea. The tribe are known as the tree house people because they live high in the trees to protect themselves from the evil spirits of the tribe. The author met with several tribe members who revealed the entire tribe are cannibals. they kill and eat those they believe have killed a member of their family. known as khakhua or evil spirt. the korowai believe that when someone dies they have been killed by the khakhua and must be destroyed instantly by being eaten. the khakhua can be anyone in the village or neighboring village. Anyone can become a khakuhua who is said to eat the insides of the person and fill them with ash until they are dead. when asked why they eat human flesh one of the chief elders stated. “Its a way of life, we are meant to eat humans its part of our religion”
The “holy men” of India known as Aghori are said to feast on human flesh from funeral pyres along the gangies river. These holy people believe that in order to reach and seek guidance from shiva and other indian gods they must consume the flesh of those who have died among other things they do which include sexual relations with corpses, spells, etc etc. the Aghori rely heavily on the god shiva to guide them in their ways attempting to break the cycle or reincarnation and achieve transcendence.
Among the cannibals contains the stories of five different cannibals all over the world. this particular chapters happened to deal with the aghoris of indian. these “holy men” live near the ganges river the most holy river in India. These holy men participate in the eating of the flesh of those who are on the funeral pyres. A aghoris the author met by the name of Anil ram baba was asked if they consider themselves cannibals and his response was “We are not cannibals, when they die they are lumps of flesh” he claims its spiritual right to eat the flesh of the dead remarking it tastes like pig and that he had a willing choice to eat human flesh motioning several times to his kapalik “half human skull used to drink whisky” when asked how the aghoris view the meat of the dead Anil stated that it was the divine food of the gods “mama prasad”