Bimin-Kuskusmin Cannibalism Analysis

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Furthermore, the superego is reinforced with the highly regulated cannibalistic acts after the value judgement system is constituted in the Bimin-Kuskusmin’s ideology, as a result of the emergence of two different psychological feelings, pride and guilt, both of which have been put great emphasis by Freud when interpreting human behaviors. Similar to the Korowai witch execution, the Bimin-Kuskusmin cannibalism processes its own cultural logic and follows the clan regulation rigorously. They regard the people who conducts cannibalism without observing rules just for satisfying his or her own brutal appetite for human flesh as uncivilized “animal man” (Sanday 87). They regard themselves as “true men” in contrast to “animal men” (Sanday 87). At…show more content…
Freud points out that, “the more rapidly it succumbed to repression (under the influence of authority, religious teaching, schooling and reading), the stricter will be the domination of the super-ego over the ego later on” (30). In Bimin-Kuskusmin’s ideology, the sacred finiik is a vital constituent of their spiritual ideology that represents “the social dimensions of proper personhood - the ordered, controlled jural and moral aspects of the person” (Poole 201). Therefore, the finiik spirit functions as the moral component of their superego. In the funeral mortuary cannibalism, people consume the deceased person’s bone marrow to make sure that his or her finiik spirit is transferred to the ancestral underworld safely and swiftly (Poole 208). The ancestral underworld gathers the finiik spirit of the deceased Bimin-Kuskusmin people, and transfers finiik to unborn clan members who are reproduced here (Poole 193). The new born clan members are believed to carry the sacred finiik spirit and are distinguished from members of other clans at birth in this way. With the distinguished psyche, those young clan members are educated from a very young age about the community regulations and their cultural values, in order to strengthen their finiik spirit, which means the social standards are accepted by them and used to regulate their behaviors.…show more content…
What is worth noticing is that the Bimin-Kuskusmin’s case is not the only example of ritual cannibalism in the world. In reality, there are various cannibalistic acts that bear a resemblance to it and play an important role in building the psyche of its clan members, such as the witch execution in Korowai community, the Wari’s mortuary cannibalism as a funeral custom in the Amazonian society. When we try to castigate their immorality, it is worth noticing that there are various and complicated reason behind the obvious human eating human. Therefore, we should avoid using oversimplified and standardized criteria from our own bias of morality and civilization to judge them. As Mikel Burley argues, “there is more than one way of being a human” (483). We should be open to the diverse conceptions of human beings, even if on the surface they are the enemy of the morality. And it is always encouraged to interpret those controversial human acts from different angles in order to come to a relatively fair
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