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Exocannibalism (from Greek Exo-, "from outside" and Cannibalism, 'to eat humans'), as opposed to endocannibalism, is the consumption of flesh outside one's close social group—for example, eating one's enemy. When done ritually, it has been associated with being a means of imbibing valued qualities of the victim or as an act final violence against the deceased in the case of sociopathy, [1] as well as a symbolic expression of the domination of an enemy in warfare.[2] Such practices have been documented in such cultures as the Aztecs from Mexico, the Carib and the Tupinambá from South America.

Historically, it has also been used as a practical expediency in especially desperate attritional or guerrilla warfare when the extreme hunger and the abundance of humans being killed coincide to create conditions ripe for cannibalism.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Cannibalism, Encyclopedia of Death and Dying.
  2. ^ James W. Dow, Cannibalism, Reprinted from Encyclopedia of Latin American History and Culture, Vol. 1. Barbara A. Tenenbaum, ed. Pp. 535-537. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons[copyright violation?]
  3. ^ Tanaka, Yuki. Hidden horrors: Japanese War Crimes in World War II, Westview Press, 1996, p.127.