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: Cannibalism

  • Date Submitted: 06/13/2013 11:07 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 41.3 
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Cannibalism is a act of practice of human eating other humans. The term dervies from the Spanish name (caribales) for the Carib people, first encountered by Christopher Columbus. Care sgould be taked to distinguish among ritual cannibalism sanctioned by a cultural code,cannibalism by necessity occuring in extreme situations of famine, and cannibalism by mentally dissturbed persons.
Reliable firsthand accounts of the practice are comparatively rare, causing some to question whether full-blown cannibalism has exited. Most agree that the consumption of particular portions or oragns was a ritual means by which powers of witchcraft and sorcery might be exercised. The Aztecs apparently praticed cannibalism on large scale as part of the ritual of human sacrifice.
Nevertheless, archaeological research suggests that ancient societies did practice cannibalism, and it has been observed in Africa, North and South America, the South Pacific islands, and the West Indies. Widespread cannibalism is usually not found in state-level societies, which have the means to tax and control surplus labor.A minority of anthropologists, however, believe cannibalism emerged as a cultural response to chronic protein shortages.
Some of the best-documented examples of cannibalism have been based on the conditions that take place during widespread famines and on accounts of shipwrecked, marooned, or stranded groups of people who have gone for long periods without food. Two of the best-documented of many cases are the pioneer Donner party's isolation in the Sierra Nevada Mountains in the fall and winter of 1846–1847, and the crash of the Uruguayan rugby team in the Chilean Andes in October 1972. In these and other well-documented cases, it is unquestionable that the food acquired by means of cannibalism enabled some individuals to survive rather than starving to death.
The Fore tribe of the highlands of Papua New Guinea was investigated at length beginning in 1957 by D. Carleton Gajdusek, who...

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