Food Series. Episode #2 of 4. Cannibalism gave imperial powers compelling justifications for their colonial endeavors; indigenous Americans and Australasians were backward, uncivilized, savage, and ritual cannibalism served as proof of their need for a guiding hand. But it’s not that easy. Why? Because right at the moment when Europeans were using cannibalism to demean indigenous cultures and justify their civilizing missions, they too were engaging in cannibalism. So were most of the ancient civilizations around the Mediterranean, the Middle East, and Asia, but under the guise of therapeutics. This week’s episode will focus on cannibalism’s most “civilized” iteration, but also its most widespread, medicinal cannibalism. It’s true. For thousands of years, all over the world, the human body has been both the object of medical treatment AND an ingredient in its therapies.
** Thanks to my student Dan Hacker for piquing my interest about this topic! ~ Marissa Rhodes
For transcripts and show notes see: www.digpodcast.org
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