The old charge of cannibalism may be generally said to be quite untrue.
Cannibalism was almost universal, either in the case of enemies killed in battle or when animal food was scarce.
The air, the waters and the land were their base of supplies, and cannibalism, it is admitted, was widespread.
Native courts may not deal with murder, witchcraft, cannibalism or slavery.
Cannibalism seems also to have sometimes been in the nature of a funeral observance, in honour of the deceased, of whom the relatives reverently ate portions.
The traditional charge of cannibalism has been very persistent; but it is entirely denied by the islanders themselves, and is now and probably always has been untrue.
Cannibalism, which earned them in earlier years a terrible name, was generally restricted to the bloodthirsty banquets which always followed a victory.
The Maoris ate their enemies' hearts to gain their courage, but to whatever degree animistic beliefs may have once contributed to their cannibalism, it is certain that long before Captain Cook's visit religious sanction for the custom had long given place to mere gluttonous enjoyment.
It is not merely that in its first establishment slavery was an immense advance by substituting for the immolation of captives, often accompanied by cannibalism, their occupation in labour for the benefit of the victor.
Like the scorpions the spiders have a special tendency to cannibalism, and accordingly the male, in approaching the female for the purpose of fertilizing her, is liable to be fallen upon and sucked dry by the object of his attentions.
At this time all the conditions of life in Hungary were simple 2 At its worst, c. 1030-1033, cannibalism was common.
The cannibalism and community of wives which he attributes to certain races of that island do certainly belong to it, or to islands closely adjoining.
Cannibalism, in fact, is practised here and there throughout New Guinea.
Nor because the pagans regarded the close meetings of the Christians usually held in private houses as mysteries in which incest and cannibalism were rife, does it follow that the Christians themselves accepted the comparison.
As to sacrifice, maize and other vegetables were offered, and occasionally rabbits, quails, &c., but, in the absence of cattle, human sacrifice was the chief rite, and cannibalism prevailed at the feasts.
In the Micronesian Islands, while animism and tabu were strong, there was not the cannibalism of the southern islands.
Churches and schools were closed by hundreds, and to such straits were the people often reduced that cannibalism is said to have been not uncommon.
Cannibalism, human sacrifices and other revolting practices common to the tribes, are being gradually stamped out under British control.
Some writers have connected Polynesian cannibalism with religion.
Mr Shortland appears to think that cannibalism among the Maories of New Zealand may have thus originated.
But where cannibalism was practised as a means of subsistence, it probably originated in times of actual want, such as may have occurred during the long voyages of the people.
The Fijians were formerly notorious for cannibalism, which may have had its origin in religion, but long before the first contact with Europeans had degenerated into gluttony.
Strabo held the inhabitants to be mere savages, addicted to cannibalism and having no marriage ties.
Max Muller says (speaking of the Greeks), " their poets had an instinctive aversion to everything excessive or monstrous, yet they would relate of their gods what would make the most savage of Red Indians creep and shudder " - stories, that is, of the cannibalism of Demeter, of the mutilation of Uranus, the cannibalism of Cronus, who swallowed his own children, and the like.
The tales of divine cannibalism to which Pindar refers with awe, the mutilation of Dionysus Zagreus, the unspeakable abominations of Dionysus, the loves of Hera in the shape of a cuckoo, the divine powers of metamorphosing men and women into beasts and stars - these tales come to us as echoes of the period of savage thought.
(5) Flight, by aid of an animal usually, from cannibalism, human sacrifice, or incest.
Its main features may be summed as follows: - a purely agricultural life, with the plantain, yam and manioc (the last two of American origin) as the staple food; cannibalism common; rectangular houses with ridged roofs; scar-tattooing; clothing of bark-cloth or palm-fibre; occasional chipping or extraction of upper incisors; bows with strings of cane, as the principal weapons, shields of wood or wickerwork; religion, a primitive form of fetishism with the belief that death is due to witchcraft; ordeals, secret societies, the use of masks and anthropomorphic figures, and wooden gongs.
They value children, and seldom practised infanticide, and cannibalism was rare.
The outstanding features of missionary work in the South Seas are (1) its remarkable success: cannibalism, human sacrifice and infanticide have been suppressed, civilization and trade have marvellously advanced; (2) the evangelical devotion of the natives themselves; (3) the need of continued European supervision, the natives being still in many ways little better than grown-up children.
Their cannibalism seems to have been dictated by taste, for it was never associated with their religion, the sacrifices to their gods being always swine.