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Old October 2nd, 2011, 08:37 PM   #1

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Cannibalism amongst Native American tribes


Francis Parkman, who was undoubtedly a product of his era, went into graphic detail describing the act of cannibalism amongst the American Indians. Particularly, after the battle of Fort William Henry where the Ottawa tribesman feasted on their English captives much to the horror of the French, who were powerless to stop them.

"...He Presently saw a large number of them squatted about a fire, before which meat was roasting on sticks stuck in the ground; and approaching, he saw that it was the flesh of an Englishman, other parts of which were boiling in a kettle, while near by sat eight or ten of the prisoners, forced to see their comrade devoured. The horror stricken priest began to remonstrate, on which a young savage fiercely replied in broken French: "You have French taste, I have Indian. This is good meat for me."; and the feasters pressed him to share it."
-Montcalm and Wolfe

Parkman later tells a rather gruesome story of women, captured by Canadian Tribes, who were forced to eat the flesh of their children.

I'm far from an expert on the American Indian. So If we change the scope from merely the New England/South Eastern Canadian tribes to the whole of the North American continent, how prevalent was Cannibalism with the Native peoples?
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Old October 2nd, 2011, 09:20 PM   #2

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patton View Post
Francis Parkman, who was undoubtedly a product of his era, went into graphic detail describing the act of cannibalism amongst the American Indians. Particularly, after the battle of Fort William Henry where the Ottawa tribesman feasted on their English captives much to the horror of the French, who were powerless to stop them.

"...He Presently saw a large number of them squatted about a fire, before which meat was roasting on sticks stuck in the ground; and approaching, he saw that it was the flesh of an Englishman, other parts of which were boiling in a kettle, while near by sat eight or ten of the prisoners, forced to see their comrade devoured. The horror stricken priest began to remonstrate, on which a young savage fiercely replied in broken French: "You have French taste, I have Indian. This is good meat for me."; and the feasters pressed him to share it."
-Montcalm and Wolfe

Parkman later tells a rather gruesome story of women, captured by Canadian Tribes, who were forced to eat the flesh of their children.

I'm far from an expert on the American Indian. So If we change the scope from merely the New England/South Eastern Canadian tribes to the whole of the North American continent, how prevalent was Cannibalism with the Native peoples?
"Cannibalism" was just as prevolent as the ritualistic torture of Native men. These acts were viewed as most disturbing by Europeans but would have been quite acceptable to the Natives. Then again, they weren't simply eating the people out of sheer sick enjoyment or preferred taste.
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Old October 2nd, 2011, 09:25 PM   #3

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The Karankawa Indians of the Texas Gulp Plains was known
to have resorted to eating parts of their enemies at times.
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Old October 2nd, 2011, 10:18 PM   #4

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Interestingly when the Europeans first came to Asia the locals thought they were cannibals to.
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Old October 3rd, 2011, 09:52 PM   #5

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Cannibalism Confirmed Among Ancient Mexican Group

There was also cannibalism among NW coast native tribes here in British Columbia but it's politically incorrect to make any mention of it.
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Old October 4th, 2011, 03:54 AM   #6

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Early Conquistador accounts speak of captured men being eaten in a sort of routine and matter-of-fact way (Central/South America). Not sure these stories were verified though, as all sorts of rubbish was related home by early conquistadors to big-up their achievements and excuse disasters. Such as a river area populated by an unbeatable tribe of tall warrior women - Amazons. The river was named after this lie.
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Old October 4th, 2011, 08:17 AM   #7

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The Aztecs practiced ritualized cannibalism and it was considered a privilege for noble and warrior classes. The Wari of Peru practiced it, as well as the Anasazi of the SW desert. This was a highly controversial finding, because of native and revisionist politics but:
"Some members of the Hopi, Zuni, and other Pueblo Indian tribes, who consider themselves descendants of the Anasazi, reject these claims as misinterpretations and slurs on their ancestors, previously characterized as peaceful farmers who attained astonishing results in engineering, architecture and art. Last fall, a group of researchers added to the controversy by reporting biochemical evidence from an Anasazi site that appears to support the cannibalism hypothesis. They analyzed the fossilized remains of human excrement from a site containing butchered human bones and found evidence of myoglobin, a human enzyme that is found in muscle tissue but not in the digestive tract".
-vanderbilt.edu
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Old October 4th, 2011, 09:06 AM   #8

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Great topic. I'll have to read Parkman's stuff.
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Old October 4th, 2011, 09:17 AM   #9
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There is a thread on this somewhere.

The Tonkawa (sp?) indians of central Texas were cannibals. But no ritual about it. When times were lean, they would capture some enemies. It was a "what's for dinner?" sort of thing.

The Aztecs were cannibals to the max. Why do you think Cortez had such great native allies when he invaded Mexico? They hated the Aztecs because they would be eaten by them if captured. And that is why Cortez thought nothing about destroying their nation. Hard to blame him.
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Old October 4th, 2011, 09:29 AM   #10

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Quote:
Originally Posted by steve53 View Post
There is a thread on this somewhere.

The Tonkawa (sp?) indians of central Texas were cannibals. But no ritual about it. When times were lean, they would capture some enemies. It was a "what's for dinner?" sort of thing.

The Aztecs were cannibals to the max. Why do you think Cortez had such great native allies when he invaded Mexico? They hated the Aztecs because they would be eaten by them if captured. And that is why Cortez thought nothing about destroying their nation. Hard to blame him.
No. Most of the mesoamerican native Americans practiced sacrifice and cannibalism. If an Aztec warrior was captured by the Txlaclacans they could expect to be sacrificed and/or eaten as well. That is not the reason why most natives despised the Aztecs. They despised simply because they had a big powerful empire and they didn't.
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