Currently viewing the tag: "cannibalism"

When Columbus first arrived in the New World, he described the indigenous people as friendly and causing no problems. He had been told by Queen Isabella to treat these people with respect and kindness, except if it became clear they are cannibals, in which case, all bets were off. Initially, the Spanish were looking for gold and, when they didn’t find it, they figured that the next best thing was slaves.

Lo and behold, when Columbus came back, the indigenous people who had previously been classified as friendly were suddenly described as cannibals, so you could do anything to them. You could enslave them, take their land, murder them, and treat them like pestilence. And that’s exactly what happened, with the result that a lot of the islands were de-populated. The idea of cannibalism as a taboo was used to de-humanize the people encountered on these conquests. –Cannibalism—the Ultimate Taboo—Is Surprisingly Common by Simon Worrall

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story involving cannibalism.

Journaling Prompt: How do you feel about the way that Columbus and other explorers dealt with natives in the new world?

Art Prompt: Cannibalism

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about cannibalism in the natural world.

Photo Credit: A Cannibal Feast in Fiji, 1869 on Wikimedia

The ancient Egyptians called the place in which the Ka, the souls of the dead, awaited reincarnation “the beanfield.” In the sixth century BC, as we saw above, Pythagoras the originator among other things of the word philosophy who use various religious themes to illustrate his teachings, refused to escape his murders by crossing a beanfield. He was acting in conformity with a major taboo. To his disciples, as to those who adhered to Orphic believes, eating beans denoted devouring one’s own parents, and fast causing serious interruption in the cycle of reincarnation (where as in many primitive systems of thought the practice of cannibalism permitted assimilation and was a kind of reincarnation). –A History of Food by Maguelonne Toussaint-Samat

Fiction Writing Prompt: Create a superstition or religious belief for your protagonist involving a bean field.

Journaling Prompt: What do you believe about reincarnation?

Art Prompt: Bean field

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about the symbolism of the bean field in ancient societies.

Photo Credit: Michael Nukular on Flickr

boots


Have you ever been put into an extreme situation where you had to make a difficult decision in order to survive?

He was the man who ate his shoes, and had been for twenty-three years, ever since he returned to England in 1822 after his first, failed overland expedition across northern Canada to find the North-West Passage. He remembered the sniggers and jokes upon his return. Franklin had eaten his shoes — and he’d eaten worse on that botched three-year journey, including tripe-de-roche, a disgusting gruel made from lichen scraped from rocks. Two years out and starving, he and his men — Franklin had dazedly divided his troop into three groups and left the other two bands to survive or die on their own — had boiled the uppers on their boots and shoes to survive. Sir John — he was just John then, he was knighted for incompetency after a later overland voyage and botched polar expedition by sea — had spent days in 1821 chewing on nothing more than scraps of untanned leather. His men had eaten their buffalo sleeping robes. Then some of them had moved on to other things. But he had never eaten another man. -Dan Simmons, The Terror: A Novel

Writing Prompt: Write about a character in a life and death situation. What does he or she do to survive?

Journaling Prompt: Have you ever been in a life or death situation? What did you do to survive? If you’ve never been in this kind of situation, write about one that you know about, either about someone you know or something you’ve seen on the news.

Art Prompt: Arctic Survival

Nonfiction / Speech Writing Prompt: Tell your audience a dramatic story about a fight for survival.

Photo Credit: Instant Vantage on Flickr