Sunday, December 6, 2015

Etiquette of Cannibalism

Rumour had it... Jean-Bédel Bokassa a former colonel who seized power in the Central African Republic and went on to proclaim himself Emperor of his impoverished nation, may or may not have been a cannibal. The rumours have never been proven nor disproven.

"Even among the savages of French Africa, who eat human flesh, there are differences," said Paul Pucci, a young Italian traveler. "Some while ago, when exploring in that country, I learned a good bit about the ways of the various tribes. In a majority of them cannibalism is indulged only when the bodies are those of prisoners taken in battle. It is all right to eat persons who belong to hostile clans, but it would be a gross violation of tradition and the custom of the land to feast upon the friends or even upon members of the same tribe. 

This delicacy of sentiment, however, is not universal, and in one tribe in particular, where I noted the absence of any old persons, I learned that it was the proper thing to add the aged inhabitants to the local food supply. This confined the population to the young and hardy, for at the first signs of decrepitude the boiling pot was called into requisition."—Washington Post, 1906

Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J. Graber, is the Site Moderator and Editor for Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia

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