Cannibalism

Jonah. (2011). A brief history of cannibalism in the Fiji Islands. Retrieved from https://jonahvatunigere.wordpress.com/2011/04/18/the-history-of-cannibalism-in-the-fiji-islands-4152011/

          The history of cannibalism originates from Fiji islands between 1600 and 1200BC. Jonah (2011) comments that cannibalism was adopted among Fijians in their voyage at the sea, which covered a long period. The sailors lacked adequate nutrition forcing them to consume their dead for survival. As the sea journeys ended in Fiji, the people adopted cannibalism as parts of their diets. Cannibalism was also contributed by the large population increase, which brought competition for women and natural resources and property.

            John Hunt (a missionary) recorded evidences of savages digging freshly buried graves with an aim of consuming the bodies. Moreover, the book records chiefs who chased their wives, chopped off their hands to, and consumed them in front of them. The wife died later on and was eaten by them. Fijan war clubs were prepared and trained to crush skulls of human beings and break their bones. Skulls of defeated chiefs were used as kava (ceremonial drink in Fijian) bowl and were given to their relatives.

Cannibalism in the Fiji islands. Here be cannibals Retrieved from http://www.heretical.com/cannibal/fiji.html

Evidences of cannibalism in Fiji Islands

            Cargil a missionary in 1839 comments that cannibalism was present in Fiji. He gives examples of various instances of twenty dead bodies of men, women, and children, which was brought to Lewa as a gift from Tanoa. The bodies were shared among all people to be cooked and eaten. Children used them as sporting activities by dragging them in water beaches and mutilating them. There were mutilated limbs, trunks, and heads floating in the area. War victims were obtained from Verata, killed, and taken by victors to be roasted and eaten. 

            Kings Servants who ran away were searched and taken back where their arms were cut off and cooked to be eaten by the king. Moreover, the king ordered the rest of the body parts be burnt differently. Chiefs ordered people’s legs and arms to be cut off, cooked, and eaten. The remaining body parts were then hooked into the tongues and thrown away. Somosomo people ate human flesh in their stay in Bau and carried their cooked bodies on their shoulders. Christians were also eaten and their bones thrown away, while heaps of their bodies lay in the compound. Chiefs had boxes to keep human flesh where their arms and legs were salted and preserved inside. Fatter people in their midst were killed roasted and eaten while some other parts were preserved.

            Bau people chewed human flesh like tobacco and carry them around. Natawar people trapped people who managed to swim from the shore and heated ovens to bake them. Some enemies were greedy, pulled their ears, and began eating them. Their parts were cut and placed in every oven dish and any drop of blood that poured was eaten with a lot of greed. Men were allowed to kill and eat their Ives if they wished so.

            Chiefs were greatest consumers of human bodies probably due to their authority and power. They slaughtered human bodies and preserved them for eating. Fijians had a taboo of not eating tainted meat and waited for the parts to loose from each other and from bones. Fijians ate the body of a man who died after a quarrel immediately it was buried by the relatives. As a result, relatives would not depart from the grave of the dead man until they were sure that his body had been loathsome to be accommodated by Fijian’s appetite.

            Dead bodies were baked in whole ovens after cutting them into pieces. They were stewed in large earthware pots with certain herbs being added in the flesh. At times, the bodies were stocked with hot stones on the inside to assist complete cooking.

            Most victims were from defeated groups in the battle. They were dragged and tied with ropes round their necks in the temple. After they were sacrificed to gods, they could be cooked and shared among them. As a result, there were heaps of human bodies that lay outside the temple and whitened in the sun. Women were however not allowed to partake in the awful banquet yet their bodies were assumed better and favorite.

Emery, K. (2012).The feast of men: cannibalism in Fiji. Retrieved from https://bonesdontlie.wordpress.com/2012/10/04/the-feast-of-men-cannibalism-in-fiji/

            Emery (2012) gives reasons such as lack of proper diet and a tribal behavior. In addition, cannibalism was a way of violating the deceased. Examples the bodies of defeated people in war could be cooked and eaten by the victorious tribe. It was also a worship of ancestors (veneration). Evidences of broken bones, marks of human tooth, cuts, and cooking which hanged the color of bones were evident in Fiji. Crashed vertebrae explained that human beings crashed them to extract the bone marrow, which was fatty.

Jones, S., Haney, H.,& Quinn, R.(2015). Kana Tamata or feasts of men: An interdisciplinary approach for identifying cannibalism in prehistoric Fiji. International journal of Osteoarchaeology,25,127-145.

Jones,Haney and Quinn(2015) argues that archaeological findings in Fiji indicate presence of cannibalism in the area. There were mortuary practices such as alternations and cut marks on human bodies. He  adds that people consumed bodies of foreigners, and neighbors. The practices were caused by lack of proper diets to satisfy the larger population. In addition, it was also a right in the community to consume the body which was likened with cremation. It was accepted as a way of respecting the ancestors and ways of obtaining supernatural efficacy (mana). Human bodies were also sacrificed to the gods as their foods.  Lastly human consumption was viewed as a veneration ritual or a sacrifice to the ancestors.

References

Cannibalism in the Fiji islands. (2016). Here be cannibals Retrieved from             http://www.heretical.com/cannibal/fiji.html

Emery, K. (2012).The feast of men: cannibalism in Fiji. Retrieved from             https://bonesdontlie.wordpress.com/2012/10/04/the-feast-of-men-cannibalism-in-fiji/

Jonah. (2011). A brief history of cannibalism in the Fiji Islands. Retrieved from             https://jonahvatunigere.wordpress.com/2011/04/18/the-history-of-cannibalism-          in-the-fiji-islands-4152011/

Jones, S., Haney, H.,& Quinn, R.(2015). Kana Tamata or feasts of men: An interdisciplinary         approach for identifying cannibalism in prehistoric Fiji. International journal of    Osteoarchaeology,25,127-145.

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