Warning: This article contains some disturbing content and images. Viewers discretion is advised.
From centuries human civilizations have practiced cannibalism – a practice which not only haunts a week hearts but it spreads a dangerous culture which endangers the entire survival of human existence. Almost every tribal culture with few exceptions nurtured and has enjoyed exotic flavors’ of the great human flesh but those who do are unaware that the cuisine they ate is toxic, is full of all those diseases which the person diluting in their intestines will affect their own. Cannibal culture goes in two ways one by killing a person and feasting on him whereas other follows the dead to be eaten by his relatives. The former called homicidal cannibalism while later called as necro-cannibalism. Though the world has come ages and has made strides in science and civilization however the situation in many parts of the world still remains the same.
There are many countries where even now to this date cannibalism is still not consider as sin and is being practiced in some or the other form either in the name of religion or culture or habit.
Tribes which are known to practice cannibalism across the world:
Tribes in Americas practiced cannibalism:
Akokisa – USA
The Akokisa, like the Atakapa, practiced cannibalism, which may have been connected to their religious beliefs. Cannibalistic feasts were described by Simars de Bellisle, who observed them firsthand when Akokisa people captured him when his ship wrecked was Frenchman (1695-1763). His diary was the first hand account of these natives practicing homicidal cannibalism.
The first European contact with the Atakapa may have been in 1528 by survivors of the Spanish Pánfilo de Narváez expedition. The name Atakapa is a Choctaw name meaning “people eater” (hattak ‘person’, apa ‘to eat’), a reference to the practice of ritual cannibalism. The Gulf coast peoples practiced this on their enemies.
A French explorer, Francois Simars de Bellisle, lived among the Atakapa from 1719 to 1721. He described Atakapa cannibalistic feasts which he observed firsthand. The practice of cannibalism likely had a religious, ritualistic basis.
The French historian Antoine-Simon Le Page du Pratz, lived in Louisiana, from 1718 to 1734, a total of 16 years. He wrote:
Along the west coast, not far from the sea, inhabit the nation called Atacapas [sic], that is, Man-Eaters, being so called by the other nations on account of their detestable custom of eating their enemies, or such as they believe to be their enemies. In the vast country there are no other cannibals to be met with besides the Atacapas; and since the French have gone among them, they have raised in them so great an horror of that abominable practice of devouring creatures of their own species, that they have promised to leave it off: and, accordingly, for a long time past we have heard of no such barbarity among them. —Antoine-Simon Le Page du Pratz
Harakmbut – Peru
The Harakmbut are an indigenous tribe living in the Peruvian Amazon Tobias Schneebaum an American artist, anthropologist, and AIDS activist has witnessed cannibalism ritual of Harakmbut tribe. Which was mentioned as about him “After hitch-hiking from New York to Peru, he lived with the Harakmbut people for seven months, where he slept with his male subjects and claimed to have joined the tribe in cannibalism on one occasion”.
The Wari also practiced cannibalism, specifically mortuary cannibalism. This is a form of endo-cannibalism, or the consumption of members of one’s own society. This was done as a form of utmost respect to those who have passed.
Tribes in Europe practiced cannibalism
Androphagi – Russia
Androphagi (Greek: for “man-eaters) was ancient nation of cannibals north of Scythia (according to Herodotus), probably in the forests between the upper waters of the Dnepr and Don. These people may have assisted the Scythians when King Darius the Great led a Persian invasion into what is now Southern Russia to punish the Scythians for their raids into the Achaemenid Empire.
The Gutasaga tells of the blóts on the island of Gotland in the Baltic Sea: Before this time, and a long time thereafter, they believed in groves and barrows, sanctuaries, and sacred enclosures and in the pagan gods. They sacrificed (for?) their sons, daughters and cattle, and practiced blóts with food and drink. This they did due to their superstition. The whole country (the althing) had the largest blót with sacrifice of people, otherwise everything had its blót and smaller things had smaller blóts with cattle, food and drinks. They were called food-, or cooking-brethren, because they prepared the meals together.
Tribes in Asia practiced cannibalism
Until the 1950s, their remote and harsh location isolated the Asmat from other peoples. It was not until the mid-20th century that they came into regular contact with outsiders. Initially, the Asmat had a reputation as headhunters and cannibals, and were left undisturbed.
In the 1950s the neurological disease Kuru was discovered in the South Fore. The local tradition of ritual cannibalism of their dead had led to an epidemic, with approximately 1000 deaths from 1957 to 1960. Upon the death of an individual, the maternal kin were responsible for the dismemberment of the corpse. The women would remove the arms and feet, strip the limbs of muscle, remove the brain and cut open the chest in order to remove internal organs.
Shirley Lindenbaum, one of the early kuru researchers, states that kuru victims were highly regarded as sources of food, because the layer of fat on victims who died quickly resembled pork. Women also were known to feed morsels – such as human brain and various parts of organs – to their children and the elderly.
It is currently believed that kuru was transmitted among the South Fore through participation in such cannibalism, although opportunistic infection through wounds when removing infectious tissue from the corpse can be assumed to be another cause, as not all cases can be explained by ingestion of infectious tissue.
Though the Fore would not eat those who had apparently died of disease, and so did not so easily catch other diseases via cannibalism, they believed that kuru was a mental affliction caused by a curse rather than a physical disease.
The kuru epidemic reached its height in the 1960s, having recorded over 1,100 deaths of the South Fore from kuru between 1957 and 1968. The vast majority of victims among the South Fore were women. In fact, eight times more women than men contracted the disease. It later affected small children and the elderly at a high rate as well.
Lindenbaum and Vincent Zigas worked among the South Fore in New Guinea trying to identify and catalog the symptoms and possible behavior causing the disease. Daniel Carleton Gajdusek also traveled there in 1957, to study disease patterns in indigenous and isolated populations.Lindenbaum, Zigas, and Gajdusek were all crucial to explaining the specifics of kuru to the rest of the world.
Although the prohibition of cannibalism in the 1950s led to the steady decline of the epidemic, it has lingered into the present century by an incubation period that can exceed 50 years.
Issedones – Central Asian countries
The Byzantine scholiast John Tzetzes, who cites the Issedones generally “in Scythia” present day Central Asian Region, quotes some lines to the effect that the Issedones “exult in long flowing hair” and mentions the one-eyed men to the north. According to Herodotus, the Issedones practiced ritual cannibalism of their elderly males, followed by a ritual feast at which the deceased patriarch’s family ate his flesh, gilded his skull, and placed it in a position of honor much like a cult image.
The archeologists E. M. Murphy and J. P. Mallory of the Queen’s University of Belfast, have argued (Antiquity, 74 (2000):388-94) that Herodotus was mistaken in his interpretation of what he imagined to be cannibalism. Recently-excavated sites in southern Siberia, such as the large cemetery at Aymyrlyg in Tuva containing more than 1,000 burials of the Scythian period, have revealed accumulations of bones often arranged in anatomical order. This indicates burials of semi-decomposed corpses or defleshed skeletons, sometimes associated with leather bags or cloth sacks. Marks on some bones show cut-marks of a nature indicative of defleshing, but most appear to suggest disarticulation of adult skeletons. Murphy and Mallory suggest that, since the Issedones were nomads living with cattle herds, they moved up the mountains in summer, but they wanted their dead to be buried at their winter camp; defleshing and dismemberment of the people who died in summer would have been more hygienic than allowing the corpses to decompose naturally in the summer heat. Burial of the dismembered remains would have taken place in fall after returning to winter camp, but before the ground was frozen completely. Such procedures of defleshing and dismemberment may have been mistaken for evidence of cannibalism by foreign onlookers.
Murphy and Mallory do not exclude the possibility that the flesh removed from the bodies was consumed. Archeologically these activities remain invisible. But they point out that elsewhere, Herodotus names another tribe (Androphagi) as the only group to eat human flesh.
On the other hand, Dr. Timothy Taylor points out:
- 1. Herodotus reports that the so-called “Androphagoi” are the “only” people in the region to practice cannibalism. However, a distinction should be drawn between “aggressive gustatory cannibalism” (i.e., hunting humans for food) and the ritualized, reverential practices reported among the Issedones and Massagetae.
- 2. Scythian-type peoples were renowned embalmers and presumably would have no need for funerary defleshing to delay decomposition of the corpse.
- 3. Herodotus specifically describes the removal of the meat and mixing it with other foodstuffs to make a funerary stew.
Dr. Taylor concludes: “Inferring reverential funerary cannibalism in this case is thus the most academically cautious approach”.
The Kombai are known to have practiced cannibalism in the past, as part of their culture. The Kombai also believe in evil spirits called Suangi. Suangis are said to eat the blood and/or internal organs of their victims and then stuff the bodies with leaves and grass. They are also believed to devour the person’s soul. After being attacked, the victim is then said to return home where they seem to have fallen mysteriously ill. If a victim is able to name the Suangi that has attacked him, they are often killed and eaten by the victim’s family in the belief that it will free the person’s spirit. The Kombai also believe in Khakhua-Kumu, evil men who consume the souls of their victims, and must be killed or eaten in return.
Korowai tribe in Papua, Indonesia is known as the tribes that still remaining in the world and performs cannibalism until now. They usually eat his tribe member suspected of being witches. Usually they eat while still in a state of his brain warm. Their residence, usually located above the tall tree is useful to protect from their enemies.
Marind-anim are people living in South New Guinea, in the past, they were famed because of headhunting. This was rooted in their belief system and linked to the name-giving of the newborn. The skull was believed to contain a mana-like force. Headhunting was not motivated primarily by cannibalism, but the already killed person’s flesh was consumed.
Massagetae – Uzbekistan
According to Herodotus: Each man has but one wife, yet all the wives are held in common; for this is a custom of the Massagetae and not of the Scythians, as the Greeks wrongly say. Human life does not come to its natural close with this people; but when a man grows very old, all his kinsfolk collect together and offer him up in sacrifice; offering at the same time some cattle also. After the sacrifice they boil the flesh and feast on it; and those who thus end their days are reckoned the happiest. If a man dies of disease they do not eat him, but bury him in the ground, bewailing his ill-fortune that he did not come to be sacrificed.
The Sawi are a tribal people of Western New Guinea, Indonesia. They were known to be cannibalistic headhunters as recently as the 1950s.
Tribes in Africa practiced cannibalism
Beti-Pahuin – Cameroon, Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, and São Tomé and Príncipe
The Beti-Pahuin’s exact origins are unclear. At one point, they were thought to have migrated into the territory of present-day Cameroon from the Azande area of Sudan, but the current belief is that they originated in the forests south of the Sanaga River, not far from their current territory. During this process, the migrants encountered other ethnic groups. The invaders were militarily superior, however, and (possibly aided by a reputation for cannibalism), they were able to absorb and “Pahuinise” most of the indigenous groups they encountered. Those peoples who refused or resisted assimilation had no choice but to flee.
Tribes in Oceania practiced cannibalism
Māori – New Zealand
Maori in New Zealand is a tribe of cannibals who have documented very well. Cannibalism had been a part of Maori culture, and they never stop to eat their enemies. When the British ship, the Boyd, anchored and the crew killed the son of the head of the Maori, the Maori warrior take revenge by killing and eating 66 crew of the ship. This event is finally known as the “body massacre.”
Countries where cannibalism is being followed and is practiced in this 21st century:
Most of the countries to this exclusive and distinct club include some of the most prospering and largely underdeveloped ones where even today as well this heinous and inhuman practice is contributing to their platter. These countries are mostly in continents of Africa and Asia with have two exceptions of two from Europeans: they are: India, China, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Indonesia, Burma, Papua New Guinea, Guinea, Liberia, Uganda, Sierra Leone, Côte d’Ivoire Democratic Republic of Congo, Republic of Congo, Tanzania, Nigeria, Rwanda, Ukraine, Germany, Polynesia, Melanesia, Australia. In these countries there are lots of similarities as well as dissimilarities. One can get a complete detail content of the reasons why in these countries it is still practiced and people still love to live their cannibal values.
Cannibalism in India has existed from thousands of centuries or one can say since times unknown. Here in India there are three groups which practice this act.
Aghoris – This is sect of religious Hindu splinter holy men who believe that if they eat human meat they will get immortality. They also believe that eating human flesh prevents ageing. One can find them near cremation grounds or near banks of river Ganges where they grab the floating dead bodies and enjoy their feast. They drink from human skulls and always carry bones and skulls with them.
Naga – This is a warrior tribe found in the North Eastern state of India – Nagaland. They still practice necro-cannibalism where the dead members are eaten by his relatives or family within the close quarters of their four walls. Earlier this tribe has also practiced homicide cannibalism but due to the abolition of tribal laws and advanced transformation of their life styles in the modern India they have discontinued this practice as now their no tribal wars or any intrusions made by other communities to grab their ancestral lands which used to the norm before independence.
Hopi, Zuni and Peublo communities also practice some part of cannibalism while performing cremation rituals.
There are other tribal communities like Andaman’s, Manipuri, Mizo, Jaintya, Bodo, Garo, Khasi, Tripuri who on some or the other occasion sometimes practice this un-natural behavior of cannibalism. All these tribes are found in the Indian states of North East and Andaman – Nicobar Island Group.
This is the most bizarre and has most weird eating habits in the world. Here cannibalism is not an act but a platter or is a scientific form of an exclusive range of human cuisines. In some parts of China girls are sacrificed and eaten to please God and their ancestral spirits. These girls are mostly of early teenage and before they are slaughtered their hands and legs are tied first and their mouth sealed by the plastic tape. Being helpless in front of those werewolves’ they witness their own homicide. After slitting their throats their bodies are left in the open so that the remaining blood flows out of the body naturally. The blood during the slitting of the throat is collected in the deep vessel which will be later use for performing rituals. Their bodies hare hanged upside down and then the cannibals begin the process of skinning and cleaning of the internal organs.
Fetus soup is delicacy in China and it is liked by many people over there from decades. Many says that this new kind of cannibalistic culture of eating fetus or aborted babies was started due to the rigid and harsh one child policy which force couples to abort their babies or even abandon them premature sometimes. These babies are then become the main ingredient for soup which is liked by millions of Chinese.
Here are some relevant reports and stories about this bizarre world – We posted once an article about how the Japanese simulated eating a human body as a form of edgy entertainment. Well now there are reports that the Chinese have been eating infant babies in an attempt to improve their health and beauty.
The Next Magazine, a weekly publication from Hong Kong, is reporting that infant fetuses have become a popular health and beauty supplement in China. It is further reported that in Guangdong, the demand for gourmet body parts is so high, that they can even be purchased directly from the hospitals.
It is reported that during a banquet hosted by a Taiwanese businessman, a servant Ms Liu from Liaoning province on the mainland inadvertently revealed the habit of eating infants/fetuses in Liaoning province and her intention to return for the supplement due to health concerns. The Taiwanese women present were horrified.
Ms Liu also disclosed that even though people can afford the human parts there are still waiting lists and those with the right connections get the “highest quality” human parts, which translates to the more mature fetuses. A male fetus is considered the “prime” human part.
Ms Liu then escorted the reporter to a location where a fetus was being prepared. A woman was chopping up a male fetus and making soup from the placenta. During the process, the woman even tried to comfort everyone by saying, “Don’t be afraid, this is just the flesh of a higher animal.”
In fact, in China, reports about meals made from infant flesh have surfaced from time to time. A video is on the Internet for people to view. In the introduction, the Chinese claim that eating a human fetus is an art form.
On March 22, 2003, police in Bingyan, Guangxi Province seized 28 female babies smuggled in a truck from Yulin, Guangxi Province going to Houzhou in Anhui Province. The oldest baby was only three months old. The babies were packed three or four to a bag and many of them were near death.
On the morning of October 9, 2004, a person rifling through the garbage on the outskirts of Jiuquan city in the Suzhou region, found dismembered babies in a dumpster. There were two heads, two torsos, four arms, and six legs. According to the investigation, these corpses were no more than a week old and they had been dismembered after cooking.
Although China has laws that prohibit the eating of human fetus, the regime’s forced abortions to ensure the one child policy is strictly adhered to thereby creating many opportunities for these sorts of atrocities to occur.
A favorite tourist destination and a glittering hub of sex trade have seen its people being cannibal sometime to satisfy their bizarre of this taboo. In 2009 there was a case when Thai people of Sawang Pae Paisarn Foundation in the distant corner of this country killed a Nigerian and was eaten by them after cooking all his dissected body parts and was distributed among all those who have participated in this act of insane anthropophagi. However the truth is something else their pictures of removing flesh from body were a religious act which was performed by the members of this foundation and with the help of volunteers were intercepted with pictures of cooking lunch by some members at the same location. This ceremony in Thailand is called Lang Pa Cha which is performed when the cemetery gets filled up having no more space to accommodate dead bodies further. This ceremony is mostly held during the summer season from March – May. So, in order to ease out the cremation process in the already squeezed and of small sized cremation chamber they clear the entire flesh from the skeleton and dissect it followed by rituals. The remaining flesh also goes into cremation chamber but after cremating the cleaned skeletal. This is a Buddhist practice and is carried in almost all the Buddhist faith countries like China and other South Pacific countries and even Sri-Lanka.
This controversy was so heightened that letters were sent to the Thai Ambassador to Nigeria in Abuja and even to Barack Obama. Many protests were carried out by the furious African community and even African Union too protested. One can find read out the entire comments and conversation carried published in http://www.southernspeakers.net/2009/09/cannibalism-in-thailand.html in a statement and answer to this circulating controversy which had almost destroyed the diplomatic relations between the two nations was cleared by the Thai Embassy The Royal Thai Embassy in Abuja yesterday said the compact discs, magazines and other materials in circulation, alleging that some Thai nationals were eating human parts were false and should be discountenanced.
The embassy said in a statement that the images being circulated were taken at a ritual called, “Lang Pa Cha” or cleaning of the cemetery in Prachuab Khiri Khan Province between March and May.
The circulation of the materials, including calendars, CDs and magazines on the streets of Lagos and other cities, has unsettled many Nigerians who have relations in Thailand. This followed the impression that the blacks in the country were the targets of the cannibals.
But the Thai Embassy said the images were only manipulated to generate ill-feelings.
According to the statement, the ritual was usually carried out on dead bodies which were dug up to create more space for new deaths.
The statement reads in part: “When dug up, the bodies, which have not been claimed by any relatives will be cremated according to Buddhist rites. As their bones are cremated, their flesh has to be dissected before the cremation.”
“The embassy said the images circulated were that of volunteers assisting in the cremation.”
A Tribe called Yoruba is indulge in the human flesh trade and even there are reports of cannibalism in the Eastern Nigeria where enjoy having human meat. Body parts and its trade are booming in Nigeria because of high rate of superstition and demand by witch doctors. Bodies which are unclaimed or did not found any place in cemetery or left partly cremated contribute majority of the volume of this flourishing business. There are open markets where one can buy fresh or stored human meat and its body parts. Here are the details from which one could have an idea about its norms and existence Lagos – A Nigerian man has been arrested after he killed a woman and ate her stewed intestines in a bid to cure an abnormally persistent Attention, police said on Wednesday.
A spokesperson for Osun state police said 50-year-old Folorunso Olukotun had led officers to his victim’s disemboweled body in the bush near his home village in south-west Nigeria.
“According to the man’s story, his private organ always has an Attention and it doesn’t go down,” Oluwole Ayodeji said. “Someone advised him to kill a woman and eat her intestines.”
Olukotun ambushed his victim, a woman in her forties unknown to her attacker, on a path near her village. He attacked her with a machete, killed her, and took her intestines home, Ayodeji said.
‘He seems to have believed them’
“He cooked them like a sort of stew and ate them with pounded yam,” he said. “When the police arrived he was very open, we have his whole confession on tape and he has been remanded in custody.”
The spokesperson said that police believe that someone had jokingly suggested cannibalism as a cure for Olukotun’s problem, in the belief that he would never carry out such a killing.
“He seems to have believed them,” he said. Police could not say whether the Attention has now subsided. – Sapa-AFP
Directly an enemy was slain, his head – and sometimes his body, if the people were strongly cannibalistic – was taken to the village and a great dance given, either at once or after the skull has been cleaned of its flesh by boiling, or by being buried for a time in the ground. At the feast, every man-slayer of the village danced round, generally with a skull in one hand and his machete in the other. Sometimes the body of the enemy was brought in whole; sometimes it was cut in pieces in advance to facilitate transport. It was then boiled in native pots and shared out, occasionally among the man-slayer’s family and friends, but sometimes among all the people of the village, until it was wholly consumed. In some tribes it was forbidden for women and children to partake of human flesh; in others, for example among the Kalabari, the eldest sister of the hut was forced to taste it, however strongly she might protest.
Among the Abadja, the whole body of anyone slain was ordinarily taken back to the village and there consumed, though it was tabu to eat women or children. A man only divided his ‘kill’ among his own family. The body was cut up and cooked in pots; the fingers, palms of the hands, and toes were considered the best eating. Sometimes, if a family had been satisfied, part of the body would be dried and put away for later.
When an Nkanu warrior brought a head back, everyone who heard of the deed gave him a present, and much palm-wine was drunk. The trophy was boiled, and the flesh cut away. The skull was then taken out, accompanied with all the others in the village, and the flesh was then boiled and eaten.
Much cruelty was practiced among certain of these tribes. For example, the Bafum-Bansaw, who frequently tortured their prisoners before putting them to death? Palm-oil was boiled in a big pot, and then by means of a gourd enema it was pumped into the bowels and stomachs of the prisoners. This practice was said to make the bodies much more succulent than they would otherwise have been. The bodies were left until the palm-oil had permeated them, and then cut up and devoured.
P. A. Talbot, Southern Nigeria, Clarendon Press, 1926 (3 vols.)
Every moment, men, women and even children passed me. One would be carrying a human leg on his shoulder; another would be carrying the lungs or the heart of some unfortunate Kroo-boy in his or her hands. Several times I myself was offered my choice of one of these morsels, dripping with gore.
Father Bubendorf of Freiburg, an eye-witness to the slaughter of a group of captives outside the hut of a tribal chief, Onitsha, Nigeria, c. 1921
The Two Congo’s (DRC and ROC)
Marauding rebels were massacring and eating pygmies in the dense forests of north-east Congo, according to UN officials who are investigating allegations of cannibalism in Ituri province, where fighting between several rebel groups has displaced about 150,000 people in the past month.
Many of the displaced tell of rebel fighters capturing and butchering pygmies, Manoddje Mounoubai, spokesman for the UN ceasefire monitoring mission in Congo, said.
The UN had sent six officials to investigate the accusation as well as other human rights abuses, he said.
Other UN officials in the capital, Kinshasa, and the eastern city of Goma said that widespread cannibalism had already been established.
‘Ituri is completely out of control and cannibalism is just the latest atrocity taking place,’ said one, who asked not to be named until the investigators deliver their report. ‘Perhaps this will finally alert the world to what’s going on.’
Ituri’s forest-dwelling pygmy tribes have been caught between opposing groups supporting the government and Ugandan-backed rebel groups in the last battles of Congo’s four-year civil war.
The two Ugandan-backed movements routinely enslave pygmies to forage for forest food and prospect for minerals, a UN official said.
Hunters returning empty-handed were killed and eaten.
Sudi Alimasi, an official of the pro-government group Rally for Congolese Democracy-ML, said it had begun receiving reports of cannibalism from people displaced by fighting more than a week ago.
‘We hear reports of [enemy] commanders feeding on sexual organs of pygmies, apparently believing this would give them strength,’ he said.
‘We also have reports of pygmies being forced to feed on the cooked remains of their colleagues.’
Cannibalism has re-emerged throughout eastern Congo as the last vestiges of colonial influence have been eroded during the war. Much of the vast forested area is controlled by the Mayi-Mayi, a loose grouping of tribal militias united by their magical beliefs and taste for human flesh.
On a recent assignment in eastern Congo the Guardian correspondent saw many Mayi-Mayi fighters wearing parts of the bodies of their Rwandan enemies, in the belief that this would make them invincible.
‘We are hearing reports of untold horrors in Ituri,’ said Wyger Wentholt, of Médecins sans Frontières.
Report by James Astill in Nairobi, The Guardian, 9 January 2003
In Democratic Republic of Congo rebel fighters of Hema and Lendu tribes are known to practice the homicidal cannibalism to weaken and frighten the enemy. No-one was spared in the Congo civil war and even now as well the bitter truth continue to exist and being practiced.
Examples and evidences of cannibalism in other African countries:
Liberia – Today’s practice of ritual killings in Liberia – because it still exists! – Mainly is a combination of traditional beliefs which inspire men-eating and modern-day criminal behavior of unscrupulous politicians who consider their ambitions worth more than the life of their victims. During the 14-year civil war (1989-2003) there were so many cases of gunmen – some of them child soldiers – eating their victim’s hearts and other body parts that the Catholic Church issued a formal denunciation of these practices (Stephen Ellis, The Mask of Anarchy, 1999: dust-jacket?)
“Nor was it just teenage fighters who held the idea that they could have access to spiritual power through the consumption of human flesh, or at least by a ritual use of human body parts. Most interesting is the allegation concerning (President) Charles Taylor himself made by his former defense minister, Tom Woewiyu. “We saw a lot”, said Woewiyu, describing his time as Taylor’s right-hand man, “including the formation of a group of cannibals called Top 20. Taylor is a member of this group. Human sacrifices, under the direction of his uncle Jensen Taylor, take place in Taylor’s house.” A group of sixteen NPFL (Taylor’s army) generals and fourteen Special Force commandos made similar allegations concerning Taylor. They issued a formal statement affirming that “we …. stand in readiness to testify Taylor’s ritualistic killings of our peers.” Ellis concludes: ‘True or not, such claims are widely believed’ (Ellis, 1999: p. 264).
These accusations caused Charles Taylor to legally pursue Stephen Ellis. After the British Times newspaper repeated the allegations in its review of Ellis’ book (‘The Mask of Anarchy’ – see Sources) President Charles Taylor started a libel case against Ellis but he withdrew it, early 2001, allegedly because of the high cost of pursuing the case in London. Given his immense wealth, it is more likely that Taylor was afraid of being requested to come to London and testify before court, an action which would have made him vulnerable and susceptible of arrest which human rights groups were asking for because of his crimes against humanity. (The Guardian: 2 February, 2001).
Many more cases could be cited that sadly confirm Liberia’s reputation in the area of ritualistic killings and cannibalism. The Liberian evolution of the traditional belief which lies at the basis of ritual killings is a particular one, as will be shown. Let us look at the past before turning back to the present. Ritualistic killings and cannibalism. The Liberian evolution of the traditional belief which lies at the basis of ritual killings is a particular one, as will be shown. Let us look at the past before turning back to the present.
Sierra Leone – During civil war majority of the lives were lost not because of the fighting but by cannibalism. It was practiced to spread terror and to keep the captive rebels or prisoners away from the severe interrogations done by mercenaries or British Army or SAS. Here is the account of it which explores the rampant cannibalism in Sierra Leone the mercenaries encountered while waging war there and the international efforts to shape the nation and its neighbors…
CAPE TOWN, South Africa –”There is a lot of cannibalism in Sierra Leone,” said Bert Sachse, a 34-year veteran of the South African Special Forces and commander of the mercenary war during the mid-1990s in the troubled West African nation.
“If you capture the enemy, you want to interrogate them. For the Sierra Leone army, they wanted to eat the heart and or other vital organs of their enemies. We would have to fly out the prisoners we wanted to interrogate on the helicopters back to Freetown so they wouldn’t be eaten. The MI-17 would fly over and the Sierra Leone soldiers would look up and say, ‘There goes dinner.’ They would look upset. In certain parts of Sierra Leone cannibalism is rife.” Sandline and Executive Outcomes were the mercenary organizations, located in South Africa and London, for whom Sachse and his men worked.
Another Sandline soldier interviewed by WorldNetDaily commented, “One can only image the Sierra Leone soldiers eating the heart and other organs of an RUF prisoner. I have a mental picture of a soldier holding a heart in his mouth, and another eating a hand and Bert Sachse asking them, ‘How many times do we have to tell you not to eat the prisoners before we interrogate them? Didn’t you get the memo?'”
Continued Sachse: “When Kabbah came back, he had about 20 of the Sierra Leone army staff executed right in front of us. He said there was some kind of conspiracy. One of those executed was a military commander with whom Sandline/Executive Outcomes had worked quite closely. What could you do? The Nigerian peacekeepers executed them.”
It was not Breaker Morant with a cigarette and one round.
“They tied them up to trees and mowed them down. Guys got chopped. They were dead or dying and the Nigerians would call for more magazines of ammo,” explained Sachse while waving his arms to show how the Nigerians called for more ammo during the executions.
Sachse lamented the chaos so prevalent in African armed forces, saying, “Some soldiers in Africa were paid with bags of rice. A sergeant major might get five bags of rice, but another soldier with more children might get only one bag of rice and that would lead to bad morale. The Sierra Leone army was a bloody rabble. The SADF was efficient. It all started with the Rhodesian army. Minimum casualties and maximum effect.”
Uganda – Few people outside Uganda know that in the north the government is fighting a fanatical and murderous cult – the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) – whose fighting force is made up in large part of abducted children. Up to 95 per cent of the population in these areas has been forced from their homes by the war. Nearly two million Ugandans, out of a population of 24.7 million, now live in refugee camps for fear of being attacked and killed in their villages.
Children have told how they had been forced by the rebels at gunpoint to abduct and murder other children and to drink their blood. A former commander of the rebel group explained that he had forced villagers to chop up, cook and eat their neighbours before he killed them, too.
On 20th September 2008 a 33 year old Sowedi Kimera has been arrested in Uganda on suspicion of cannibalism. Police raided Kimera’s Kireka home on Thursday after being alerted to a corpse on the premises.
Mr Kimera was arrested in the early hours of Thursday morning after residents and Local Council officials tipped the Police of an unidentified body in his house. Police say they searched the house on Wednesday evening and discovered the body of a woman in Kimera’s living room, they traced Kimera to a local bar and arrested him on suspicion of cannibalism. Local residents attempted to lynch Kimera as he was taken into custody.
The dead woman found in Kimera’s home is believed to be Annet Mbabazi, a resident of Kireka. Mr Kimera reportedly checked her body out of the town morgue on Wednesday night, but he gave no explanation as to how or why he took the body.
Fiji – Over the centuries, a unique Fijian culture developed. Constant warfare and cannibalism between warring tribes was quite rampant and very much part of everyday life. During the 19th century, Ratu Udre Udre is said to have consumed 872 people and to have made a pile of stones to record his achievement. According to Deryck Scarr (“A Short History of Fiji”, 1984, page 3), “Ceremonial occasions saw freshly killed corpses piled up for eating.’Eat me!’ was a proper ritual greeting from a commoner to a chief.” Scarr also reported that the posts that supported the chief’s house or the priest’s temple would have sacrificed bodies buried underneath them, with the rationale that the spirit of the ritually sacrificed person would invoke the gods to help support the structure, and “men were sacrificed whenever posts had to be renewed” (Scarr, page 3). Also, when a new boat, or drua, was launched, if it was not hauled over men as rollers, crushing them to death, “it would not be expected to float long” (Scarr, page 19″). Fijians today regard those times as “na gauna ni tevoro” (time of the devil). The ferocity of the cannibal lifestyle deterred European sailors from going near Fijian waters, giving Fiji the name Cannibal Isles, in turn Fiji was unknown to the rest of the outside world. “Fijians first impressed themselves on European consciousness through the writings of the members of the expeditions of Cook who met them in Tonga. They were described as formidable warriors and ferocious cannibals”.
Germany – Armin Meiwes is a German man who achieved international notoriety for killing and eating a voluntary victim whom he had found via the Internet. After Meiwes and the victim jointly attempted to eat the victim’s severed penis, Meiwes killed his victim and proceeded to eat a large amount of his flesh. Because of his acts, Meiwes is also known as the Rotenberg Cannibal or Der Metzgermeister (The Master Butcher). Though he was arrested in 2002 but he committed this act in 2001 when he got his reply to his advertisement posted on some internet site now defunct. An Italian Bernd Jürgen Brandes then answered the advertisement. As is known from a videotape the two made when they met on 9 March 2001 in Meiwes’s home in the small village of Rotenburg, Meiwes amputated Brandes’ penis and the two men attempted to eat the penis together before Brandes was killed. Brandes had insisted that Meiwes attempt to bite his penis off. This did not work and ultimately, Meiwes used a knife to remove Brandes’ penis. Brandes apparently tried to eat some of his own penis raw, but could not because it was too tough and, as he put it, “chewy”. Meiwes then fried the penis in a pan with salt, pepper, wine and garlic; he then fried it with some of Brandes’ fat but by then it was too burned to be consumed. He then chopped it up into chunks and fed it to his dog. According to journalists who saw the video (which has not been made public), Brandes may already have been too weakened from blood loss to actually eat any of his penis. Meiwes read a book for three hours, while Brandes lay bleeding in the bath. Meiwes apparently gave him large quantities of alcohol and pain killers, twenty sleeping pills and a bottle of schnapps, kissed him and finally killed him in a room that he had built in his house for this purpose, the Slaughter Room. After stabbing Brandes to death in the throat, he hung the body on a meat hook and tore chunks of flesh from it; he even tried to grind the bones to use as flour. The whole scene was recorded on the two-hour video tape. Meiwes enjoyed eating the body over the next 10 months, storing body parts in his freezer under pizza boxes and consuming up to 20 kilograms (44 lb) of the flesh. According to prosecutors, Meiwes committed the act for sexual enjoyment. Meiwes has admitted what he did, and expressed regret for his actions. He added he wanted to write a book of his life story with the aim of deterring anyone who wants to follow his steps. Websites dedicated to Meiwes have appeared, with people advertising for willing victims. “They should go for treatment, so it doesn’t escalate like it did with me”, said Meiwes. He believes there are over 100 cannibals in Germany. What was shocking was that cannibalism in not a sin as per Germany code of law.
Ukraine, Russia and CIS
Ukraine – On July 15, 2002, police in the central Ukranian town of Zhytomyr said they have arrested three men and a woman on suspicion of murdering and cannibalizing up to six people, including an 18-year-old girl. “They killed a young woman in a forest and then cut out fleshy parts of the body and ate them. This is horrible,” a police spokeswoman told the Reuters news agency. In what is believed to have been a satanic ritual, the suspects killed the 18-year-old with two knife thrusts to the heart, local interior ministry representative Viktor Kurbatov told the press. She was also scalped and decapitated. Then the suspects boiled her head in water and ate pieces from it. The cannibal crew was arrested several days after the murder when they went to meet the girl’s parents to collect a $3,000 ransom.
Crimea – In March, 1996, police in the Crimean city of Sebastopol were called to investigate a murder. Nothing had prepared them for the carnage they discovered when they entered the home of a former convict and found the mutilated remains of human bodies being prepared for eating. The flat’s owner, her mother and her boyfriend, had been stabbed to death by the 33-year-old suspect and their bodies neatly butchered. In the kitchen investigators found the internal organs of two victims in saucepans, and nearby on a plate a freshly roasted piece of human flesh.
Finnish soldiers displaying Soviet soldiers’ skins near Maaselkä, on the strand of lake Seesjärvi during Continuation War on the 15th of December in 1942. Original caption: “An enemy recon patrol that was cut out of food supplies had butchered a few members of their own patrol group, and had eaten most of them.”
Perestroika– Alarmingly, cannibalism is becoming way of life in the former Soviet Union. In the 1996 ten people were charged with killing and eating other people. Police estimate that at least 30 people were eaten that year.
Newspaper reports across the former Soviet Union Republics speak of cases of vagrants being eaten, or their bodies being cut up and sold to unsuspecting passers-by. “We have information about cases where human flesh is sold in street markets; also when homeless people kill each other and sell the flesh. Every month we find corpses with missing body parts.”
An apocryphal story — which may or may not be true — relates how two winos fed a buddy human flesh. The man ate with great appetite, but when he learned the true source of the meal, he hanged himself.
Siberia – In 1996 a man in the Siberian coal mining town of Kemerovo was arrested after he admitted killing and cutting up a friend, and using his flesh as the filling for pelmeni, a Russian version of ravioli which, coincidentally, is the favorite dish of the Yeltsin family. The scam was uncovered when rag-pickers scavenging through a garbage dump discovered a severed human head. Soon they discovered that the rest of the body had been minced, put into pelmeny, and sold at cut-price prices in the local market.
Kirgizstan – Russia’s most industrious cannibal, Nikolai Dzhurmongaliev is believed to have killed up to 100 women, and served many of them to his dinner guests. Nikolai used at least 47 of his victims to make ethnic dishes for his neighbors in the Kyrgyzstan. When arrested Nikolai pointed out that two women could provide enough delicate meat to keep him going for a week.
Prison – Twice last year convicts in overcrowded prisons killed and ate their cellmates because they claimed they were hungry and wanted to relieve overcrowding. Criminal experts said that most cases of cannibalism in Russia were part of the general rise of serial killings, and because of Russia’s mounting economic and social problems.
Barnaul – Offering no other explanation than not wanting to share his cell, Andrei Maslich, 24, strangled his fellow prisoner and then cut out his liver with a shard of broken glass. He put the organ in a mug with water and boiled it up on a makeshift fire made from his bedding. Standing in the defendant’s cage in the court room, Maslich admitted to drinking up his homemade stew. The next morning, part of the shrunken organ was found in the mug.
Maslich, a four-time convicted murderer, was initially given his first death penalty last year after he and another inmate strangled, cooked and ate another prisoner. Then they told authorities they were bored and wanted to visit Moscow, where they thought they would be sent for psychiatric examinations.
Kazakhstan – In the Semipalatinsk prison in Kazakhstan, four convicts — who blamed their actions on newspaper articles about instances of cannibalism in prison — decided to eat the very first “new guy” placed in their cell. So when a convict named Volchenkov showed up, they killed him, cut meat from his arms and back, cooked it up, and ate it. Some pieces were fried on a hot plate and some of were boiled in an electric kettle.
Kzyl Orda – A man guarding a pot field in Kzyl Orda region of Kazakstan confessed to shooting and cannibalizing his comrade. The suspect, identified only by the single name Zhusaly, salted the flesh of his buddy and ate it for 10 days. The man — along with three farmers charged with growing the pot — was arrested in a drug raid. The three also have been charged with concealing murder.
Berezniki – The grim discovery of cannibalism in Perm Oblast unfolded when Citizen K. brought to the police station a package of human flesh. He had bought it on the street. His wife, having studied the piece, discovered skin on it. Specialists say that the taste of “people meat” is a specific one, and has a distinctive smell when it’s cooked. “The taste of a victim,” it is asserted, in full seriousness, at the Main Criminal Investigations Administration of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, “depends on the victim himself: if he drank or smoked a lot, whether he liked sweets or salt…”
F.A. Boldyshev and his friend N.V. Ostanin, got drunk with a third man, A.P. Vavilin, and killed him. Then they dismembered his corpse and had one of their mother’s cook the choice cuts. After gladly gorging themselves, they packed up the remains and sold them in the street. Vavilin’s head, hands, and feet were thrown into the attic. In custody the lethal trio confessed they did it so to save money on the purchase of normal food.
The Urals – Anatoly Dolbyshev, a resident of Berezniki in the Urals region of Perm, was found guilty of stabbing to death a friend of his mother’s in a fight. He was also charged with “swindling and appropriation of property through deceit,” when he cut up his victim’s body and sold pieces of the human flesh to unsuspecting local townsfolk in exchange for vodka. Police arrested Anatoly when one buyer found a strip of human skin in the meat.
Moscow – Citizen Kolpakov from Nizhnyy Novgorod, a lodger of a rooming house, was killed by the son of the woman who owned the apartment. The killer cut a piece of soft tissue from the forearm, fried it in a frying pan, and ate it. A panel of experts found him to be of diminished responsibility.
Marshal Tukachevensky Street – Moskovsky Komsomolets, Moscow’s most popular daily, reported a grisly finding on Marshal Tukhachevksy Street. A beggar rummaging for food through the rubbish bins finds a human foot and several other body parts. Police called to the scene found more evidence of murder: four hands, four shoulders and three feet, all female. “It became clear to the detectives that they were dealing with not one, but two murders,” the newspaper reported.
Chuvash Autonomous Republic – On July 3, 1997, the supreme court of Russia’s Chuvash Autonomous Republic sentenced Vladimir Nikolayev, 38, to death for killing and cannibalizing two people in the town of Novocheboksary. Nikolayev, denounced as a particularly dangerous criminal ten years before, was being arrested in his apartment in the winter of 1996 when police found a pan of roasted human meat on the stove and another cannibal dish in the oven. In the snow on his balcony Nikolayev had more bodies’ part stored to eat later. Investigators who questioned Nikolayev said he had jokingly asked them to prepare him a dinner using his stock of human meat.
Novokuznetsk – In a one man crusade to cleanse modern Russia from the permissiveness of democracy, Sasha Spesivtsev, 27, killed at least 19 street children who he saw as the detritus of society. The unemployed black marketeer would lure his homeless victims from the streets and local train stations in the Siberian town of Novokuznetsk to his home where, with the help of his mother, he killed and ate them.
Udmurtian – In a settlement of Novyy, two men — Rasskazov and Bobylev — were charged with killing and eating their drinking partner Alekhin.
In a stream outside Novokuznetsk, 43 bone fragments were found of six bodies — four boys, one girl, and one man. The criminologists have a theory: A whole family was done away with. But in order to “establish genetic identity,” it was necessary to conduct a special analysis of the bones. And the Internal Affairs Ministry official in charge of the case says, “These preserved bones have lain in my refrigerator for a month already, waiting for the chemicals. Special preparations are very expensive…”
Mantorovo – Situated on a tributary of the Volga, Manturovo is a quiet town of 22,000, where two women — Valentina Dolbilina, a 36-year-old mother of a four-year-old boy, and Vitaly Bezrodnov, 28, a factory worker — were accused of killing their drinking partner and then cooking his flesh.
After a night of heavy drinking, Bezrodnov announced he was hungry and “would like some meat”. After checking out one of their drinking buddies who was dead drunk in the corridor, they decided he was too skinny and packed him off home. Their gluttonous eyes then fell on a fourth member of the party, who was a bit fatter. Propelling him into the tiny kitchen, Bezrodnov asked Dolbilina for something heavy. With Dostoevskian inspiration she fetched an axe, and the victim was hit on the head, beheaded, undressed and then cut up into pieces. As Dolbilina held a tray, some 15 pounds of meat was cut from the thigh and rump, and put in the frying pan.
Awakened by the unusual smell of cooking meat, her flatmate, Boris Komarov, came into her room and asked to join the feast. Despite the haze of drink, even he noticed something strange. “It was a bit tough,” he said. He was reassured by Bezrodnov, who said they had killed a stray dog for the pot.
Satisfied by this explanation, Komarov skept eating the leg of man straight from the pan. Little did he realise the full ghastliness of the situation: the dead man was his own brother, Leonid. Even the little boy, Roma, was served a slice of Leonid. The kid later blurted out: “Mummy killed a man and served him up to her friends.”
St. Petersburg – Local cannibal Ilshat Kuzikov liked to marinate choice cuts with onions in a plastic bag hung outside his window. When the police forced their way into his home, they found Pepsi bottles full of blood and dried ears hanging on the wall – his winter supplies. He offered the officers some meat and vodka if they would let him go.
On March 19, 1997, Kuzikov was found guilty of killing three of his vodka drinking buddies and eating their internal organs, and was sent to a maximum-security psychiatric hospital. The confessed cannibal said he killed his first victim in 1992 after inviting him to his flat for a nightcap. Ilshat, 37, said he became a cannibal because he couldn’t buy enough to eat on his $20 monthly pension. After sating his appetite Kuzikov dismembered his friends and put them in a garbage dump.
During Stalin Rule – Russians have known cannibalism caused by genuine hunger. Due to the brutality of the Soviet Government there have been famines the like of which has not been seen in the West since the 19th century. In 1921 about five million people died in the Volga and Urals region, while the Ukraine was devastated in 1931 during Stalin’s collectivization of the farms. To survive the 444-day siege of Leningrad by the Germans, the defenders ate corpses.
Rostov – The grandfather of Russian-style cannibalism Andrei Chikatilo, believed that his brother had been murdered and his body parts sold during the Ukrainian famine of 1931. In a grim reminder of Andrei’s rampage, in January, 1997, Vladimir Mukhankin, 36, pleaded guilty to murdering eight women in Rostov-a-Don.
There is an association in an isolated Columbian Island republic of Isla Provedencia. Where a person named Perro Loco a self styled prophet and religious leader of the holy church of Dolcett California runs an organization called C&MHFSA – California & Midwest Human Female
Stockman’s Association of whom he says is chairman. He claims to be a supplier of high quality human female meat to various clients in Britain and other European countries. As per his website details he claims that girls volunteer themselves for the snuff video training and they have the option of either to volunteer for butchering or being a breeding sex slave to their owners.
Here is the link to its website: http://web.archive.org/web/20021002102029/http://www.necrobabes.org/perroloco/Previews.html
this is the same website which was used by the German Armin Meiwes where he had posted his advertisement for cannibalistic desire. This association calls human female as their cows which are used who are trained and sent for slaughtering process and even for the porn activities before being slaughtered as show girls. This person has even accepted his daughter’s application for cattle training and slaughtering her.
Opinion: First of all the practice of this heinous act cannibalism whether being practice as ritual, for cremation, for homicide or for just taboo or even for just for sexual pleasure or salvation but it will always be treated as in human and brutal. Whether religion or habit must not be entertain or shouldn’t be encouraged by any. It not only shows the psychological disorders but can cause the spread of severe epidemic like Kuru or even Aids.
Cannibalism is the most dreaded act will always remain the so which can be said otherwise the height of one’s mental disorder or physic. Government should at all cost must ban and regulate the practice of this serious and heinous sin which being a world’s oldest taboo still haunting the people lives in this civilized world showing uncivilized cultural tastes of the cannabis. The countries like Germany and others whether growing or poor must forced their people to keep their selves away from this sort of witch craft practices and destructive self fish practiced pleasures. Buddhists should not only revive and improve their practice of flesh cleaning before cremation but also discourage others to practice this exorcist’s culture.