March 29th, 2008


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Discussion (19)¬

  1. Urthdigger says:

    It’s the little things like the commentary about Boneclaw Mother that make this my favorite chapter.

  2. CoCo says:

    That last bit… That’s a disturbingly good point.

  3. Morrigan says:

    This seems like the place to point out that if humans and those usually herbivorous eat body parts, the proteins are denatured and changed and go to the brain to cause severe degeneration. Thus we have Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and kuru. This is also what I tell everyone who wants me to eat squirrel brains, pigs’ feet, etc. Cooked steak, please.

  4. Nyktipolos says:

    Kind of makes you see how lowly the tribe views Ed, too, and how highly they place their honoured dead. Ed mentioned something about them not even wanting to see his bones rot. Just goes to show how much they don’t care/want him around. 🙁

  5. Kasper says:

    The “don’t let loved ones rot” attitude was also common in Central America at a time. They didn’t have kuru, but there were probably other consequences to health.
    But Morrigan, herbivores frequently supplement their diet, the real trick is to avoid the so-called prions, a kind of protein-of-doom that makes other proteins go wrong, and can’t be denatured by the body’s own enzymes.

  6. BunnyRock says:

    “Told to leave no bones were real people could eat them…”

    yeah, that line and Ed’s hints about “You don’t eat meat? learn fast.” left me in little doubt something like this would happen.

    Interestingly, i just finished witting an essay on Hua and Gimi (papa new guianan tribes) mortuary cannibalism based on Peggy Reeves Sanday’s book “Divine hunger, cannibalism as a cultural system”. Excellent bedtime reading, would recommend it to anyone.

    It pointed out that in Hua tribes, back when cannibalism was still practiced, because the tribes diet was often protein-deficient and had seasonal famines, male children would find their growth stunted by the lack of protein where as female children coped better. This lead to the belief that female bodies contained some form of divine energy that male ones did not, and that only females could proses this energy. the result was women were permitted to practice mortuary cannibalism at funerals and men were not, to re-cycle this energy and prevent it from leaking out of the tribe.

    Given the matriarchal society The People have in this comic, funeral cannibalism is particularity interesting.

  7. TheLivingNick says:

    It probably draws a lot from the fact that the Tribe is carnivorous rather than omnivorous; with meat-eating being so much more a part of the culture, it would probably make this sort of ritual more likely to happen, and less “creepy” than with an omnivorous community such as humans.

  8. Gen says:

    *worships BunnyRock*

  9. rueyeet says:

    I take it back…evidently the whole body IS on the menu…

  10. Trogdog says:

    Yeah, I could eat a friend.

    ….. What?

  11. Ryn says:

    Also, hyenas are SCAVENGERS in our nature. ‘You eat what’s there, when it’s there, because if you don’t, someone else will.’

  12. Kisame says:

    No, I’ll let her rot in a pile of dirt with a stone and her name and years of living written on it

  13. Kisame says:

    The problem with this system is that if a person is killed where they can’t reach it or know where his
    body is that means the memory and energy of all fallen he ate gets lost and forgoten which according to this comic will put shame on the dead, or as grim eyes says, make him be rememberd as trash person

  14. BunnyRock says:

    @Ryn actually spotted hyenas take over 70% of their food as live prey, far more than lions or jackals. They are very hard working, active hunters who use their stamina to maximum effect, so scavenging is a “back up” strategy, used to occasionally supplement the diet. The reason they are preserved as scavengers is they are far more intelligent that lions and jackals and also very, very good diggers, making them one of the few animals in their range capable of exhuming human burials to scavenge from them (the other major one of course being “archaeologists”.). They have good enough problem solving skills and memory to learn to recognise human graves even if the coffin is sealed and so they can’t actual smell the body. that’s how they got the bad press as scavengers- scavenge from animal bodies like lions, no one notices or cares. Rob a few human graves every now and then and people will keep bringing it up in conversation for ever and ever.

    The Egyptian government with regards to the British museum, for example.

  15. TZ says:

    Whatever happened to not eating what talks?

  16. JET73L says:

    Thanks for your most recent post, BunnyRock, I get so upset when people propogate the myth that Hyenas are primarily scavengers without being corrected. Another reason people think hyenas are scavengers is that when people would see a lion and some hyenas eating from the same carcass, they would assume the big, majestic lions had taken down the prey.

    Kisame, I’m pretty sure that’s part of why the entire clan participates in the funeral, so that if one person becomes trash only that part of what they took is lost with them.

    Morrigan, I’m pretty sure that’s not how prion diseases work. From what I know, it’s a spontaneous disease where some cells in a person’s body aren’t made correctly (think sickle-cell anemia or cancer), but in the case of prion diseases like kuru, they are not only aggressive enough to spread through the person and affect other cells, but they are also transmissible. It has very little to do with being omnivorous or herbivorous (which is not to say that there aren’t potential problems from an herbivore or an omnivore eating more than trace amounts of meat, but that sort of problem happens with anything a body is not equipped to consume).

  17. Zelith says:

    I was going to argue that lots of herbivores eat the placenta to recover all that valuble nutrition… and realised that wasn’t really relivent in this case anyway. ^_^

  18. Arrkhal says:

    May’ve said this before on a previous pass through the archives, but endocannibalism is a little like life insurance. It’d be kind of comforting, in a way, to know that even if you die, you can still feed your family for another couple days.