Cannibalism was almost universal, either in the case of enemies killed in battle or when animal food was scarce.
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.
On purely defensive lines, early apologists rebut charges of cannibalism and sexual promiscuity; the Christians had to meet in secret, and the gossip of a rotten age drew malignant conclusions.
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.
They value children, and seldom practised infanticide, and cannibalism was rare.
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.
The air, the waters and the land were their base of supplies, and cannibalism, it is admitted, was widespread.
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.
As regard cannibalism, it appears that the heart and liver of the human victims offered in the temples were eaten as a religious rite, and that the same parts of any prominent warrior slain in battle were devoured by the victor chiefs, who believed that they would thereby inherit the valour of the dead man.
In the Micronesian Islands, while animism and tabu were strong, there was not the cannibalism of the southern islands.
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.
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.
Native courts may not deal with murder, witchcraft, cannibalism or slavery.
The Melanesians are mostly "negroid," nearly black, with crisp, curly hair elaborately dressed; their women hold a much lower position than among the Polynesians; their institutions, social, political and religious, are simpler, their manners ruder; they have few or no traditions; cannibalism, in different degrees, is almost universal; but their artistic skill and taste, as with some of the lower African negroes, are remarkable, and they are amenable to discipline and fair treatment.
In several districts the action of the state officials and the concession companies in enforcing the collection of large quantities of rubber caused the tribes to abandon their former habits and industries; on the other hand, cannibalism, formerly widely prevalent and practised by tribes with a comparatively high culture (e.g.