• Cannibalism of the New Zealanders.


    Cannibalism of the New Zealanders.


    The naivety of multiculturalism. MOANA, one of the latest Disney movies shows Polynesian culture has being perfectly gentle and innocuous. In truth, cannibalism was a feature of Polynesian culture up until the 19th century. How could your children know by watching this well done and deceiving animated film?

    Cannibalism of the New Zealanders.

    "The practice of Cannibalism among the New Zealanders was connected with their wars. They have obtained an unenviable distinction for this revolting custom. The subject has, however, been greatly exaggerated. They have been represented as man-eaters from sheer love of human flesh, and the most affecting pictures have been drawn of the cannibal feast. It has been described as the greatest delicacy with which visitors of rank could be regaled. I am fully satisfied that such accounts are beyond the truth. The New Zealander never ate human flesh because he preferred it as an article of food; nor did he kill his slaves to make a feast for visitors, but invariably to gratify revenge. Prisoners of war alone were the victims, and revenge the principal feeling. Perhaps it was connected with the idea, that to eat the flesh of the warrior would imbue them with his valour and bravery.

     So far as I have been able to learn, revenge has been the principal cause of Cannibalism among the Polynesians generally. Sometimes famine may have driven them to it; but even in Feejee, at present so notorious for its anthropophagism, I am told that to gratify revengeful feeling is the principal cause.

     This horrible custom very probably had its origin in their mythology, which led them to suppose that the spirits of the dead were eaten by the demons,—that the spiritual part of their offerings was eaten by the god to whom it was presented. In some islands, Ellis says, “Man eater, was an epithet of the principle deity,” and that “it was probably in connection with this, that the king, who often represented the deity, appeared to eat the human eye.”

     Tradition among the New Zealanders, says that it originated with the demi-gods. “Rongo,” god of the kumera, “Tane,” god of trees and birds, “Tangaroa,” god of the sea and fish, “Haumea,” god of fern-root, and “Tu,” god of war, were all brothers. Tu ate them all. This was the commencement among the gods. Among men it was begun at Hawaiiki, by Manaia, who killed and ate an PAGE 42 adulterer, in detestation of his crime. Jarves says, “it was not uncommon for the Sandwich Islanders to indulge in the horrible custom after the close of battle in early times; and in later days it was confined to certain robber chieftains who infested mountain paths and recesses of forests, from which they sallied forth, slaying, plundering, and gorging like vultures on the flesh of their victims.” The New Zealander has an idea there are some such beings on the mountains, whom they call Paraus; and though you never meet with one who has seen them, yet they are in great dread of them when travelling alone." - The Aborigines of New Zealand: Two Lectures by Thomas Buddle (1851)… Har Tsiyyon.



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