There Be Cannibals!

Repost from the old site.
My understanding of cannibalism is not good. It’s well-known that starving people in just about any society will eat their own dead. Clearly, the Anasazi Indians of Arizona and New Mexico, ancestors of today’s Pueblo Indians, engaged in cannibalism during the 1300’s. I don’t care what the Indians say. Indian tribes are notorious liars when it comes to denying anything that makes them look bad.
The cannibals and head-hunters of New Guinea are well-known, and some were said to continue to engage in the practice until the mid-1960’s. Cannibalism was well-known in other parts of the world, especially Polynesia and Fiji. It was legendary in New Guinea and widely practiced in Australia too.
The cannibals of the Congo below were not the only ones in Africa, just some of the more notorious. There were also cannibals in the Brazilian Amazon and a few in North America here and there.
But Polynesia, especially New Zealand, had some of the worst cannibals of all. A Maori wife of a chief killed in combat would offer herself to be killed and eaten by her enemies, becoming dinner to show her love for her husband. A Fijian husband’s power over his wife was such that he could kill her and eat her at any time for any or no reason at all.
In some societies, people were eaten if they were loved. In Australia, people ate the corpses of their relatives and friends in order to pay tribute to their lives.
In New Guinea, old folks, having a hard time straggling through life, were hanged from trees or killed in other ways, often by their own kids, in a big party with the whole village gathered around. After they were dead, they were chopped up and eaten. Beats mortgaging your house for Mom’s nursing home, eh?
Smoking a fish is a good way of making it more flavorful, and logically it follows that it adds a little zest to roast human. Humans waiting to be eaten were “tenderized” in water or other liquids to make the flesh less beef jerky-like.
Tribes from Africa to Polynesia went out on hunting parties, like armies of Jeffrey Dahmers, looking for human prey to kill and cook up.
Although women definitely are better looking then men, some cannibals insist that we guys are more delectable. Others prized female flesh most of all and went to great woman-chasing lengths to obtain it.
Dying in battle is bad enough if you are to be a meal afterwards, but being wounded and then hauled away to be served on the dinner table must have been a particular horror.
Slaves were captured, kept in chains and horribly mistreated for long periods, knowing all the while that one day that would serve as a main course.
What is interesting is that so many cannibal societies insist that Roast Human tastes great, even better than many or most domesticated or wild animals. One wonders why we taste so great. Did we evolve to be good eatin’?
In many places, White explorers were told, “Of course we eat people! Don’t you?” One New Guinea tribe had a legend about how they became cannibals. One day the men went out hunting. They came back with some wild pigs and whatnot. The women berated them, “Is that all you can give us – that lousy stuff?
The humiliated men, their masculinity at risk, figured that the women wanted people to eat, not some dirty animals. So they took off to a neighboring village and came back. They came back with humans to eat, the women danced all around and their manliness was intact.
Biting off the nose of a corpse is pretty horrible, and cannibals deny that they do this. They only bite off the noses of those others kill, not those they kill themselves! They do have some class. If boiling a dead man’s heart is too much for you, just get your daughter to do it, and then drink the delicious juice. A rack of rib sounds pretty good, but would you eat it if it came from a seven year old girl?
Now, I like pork myself, but “long pig” is said to be more delicate, and it never makes you so full you feel ill. We all like to get together with the family for Thanksgiving, but how about the New Guineans, a woman and her two daughters, who dug up the corpse of one of the daughter’s baby and consumed it? Gives a new meaning to three generations at the table for dinner, eh?
The Dobudura in New Guinea liked to keep a fresh supply of meat on hand. So they would capture a man and keep him alive for up to a week, cutting off bits of his flesh any time they felt hungry. They used a plant medicine to keep the food supply from bleeding to death. When he is nearly dead, they would poke a hole in his skull and scoop the brains out with a spoon, brains being a major delicacy and all.
One way to ensure a delicious meal is to roast a man while still alive, for the meat tastes better when prepared this way. Deboning a chicken makes for better eating, and humans may be similarly deboned. What to do with the giblets? Well, with human giblets, just give them to the kids, who roast them in the fire and eat them up.
With the coming of “evil Western colonialist missionaries” all of this quaint “indigenous” cultural behavior was laid to rest once and for all, or so we thought (but see below). Many cultures became ashamed of their former cannibalism and refused to discuss it.
The Aborigines were puzzled at why it had been outlawed. Why were we not allowed to eat our friends anymore, to have a party and say what a great guy he was? None of it made sense.
I suppose the Cultural Leftists, in love with all cultures, wicked, sublime and in between, as long as they are not White and Christian or Jewish, want to resurrect all this delectable human-chomping.
As the Congo War devolves, we are receiving reports that Congolese militias are once again reverting to old habits of cannibalism. In particular, they are killing the Pygmies (the Bantus have waged a long genocidal campaign against both Bushmen and Pygmies) and cooking them up for chow.
Almost all roads in the Congo built by those evil colonialists are now in disrepair – not due to weather or abuse, that is normal. It is that in the Congo now, when a road falls apart, no one ever fixes it. Never. Ever. Hence, roads just pretty much do not exist.
The apartheid Whites of Southern Africa, of paternalistic mind, always said that when the White man left Africa, Africans would “go back to the bush”, in every conceivable way.
That’s not necessarily the case in all Africa. See an optimistic post about a disaster zone called Nigeria, and note the good economic growth the continent has been experiencing, with the sole exception of Zimbabwe, which is disgustingly tossed out by White racists as an exemplar of all of Africa. Yet in Congo, it appears that this depressing forecast is being borne out.
Delicious quotes follow, from Troubled Heart of Africa: A History of the Congo. Check out the title – I suppose the anti-racists assume it must be “racist”, no? Dark continent, heart of darkness, the horror, the horror, and all that?
Racists salivating over this post as an exemplar of “nigger innate savagery” be warned: cannibalism was not generalized over all of Africa. It was a cultural phenomenon primarily confined to the Congo, which then grew, strangely, in the 1800’s, to encompass more of the colony via cultural transmission.

For their part, the Malela were delighted by their diet of human flesh, describing it as “saltish in flavour, and requiring little condiment.” Unfortunately for their neighbors, their search for human flesh led to widespread slaughter. Edgerton, 85
But the Basongye, or Zappo Zaps as they were often known, sold slaves to their neighbors knowing that they would be eaten; they also ate their own dead. Soon after the end of the Arab War, they would work for the Free State and spread cannibalistic terror across the Congo.
Other societies such as the Baluba, for example, ate the hearts of virtuous or brave people to gain their strength, but they also ate the bodies of criminals and slaves to prevent them from doing evil to their masters or haunting them. Ibid, 86
In some Congolese societies, people ate human flesh only occasionally to mark a particularly significant ritual occasion, but in other societies in the Congo, perhaps even a majority by the late nineteenth century, people ate human flesh whenever they could, saying it was far tastier than other meat and, perhaps surprisingly, that male human flesh tasted better than female.
Persons to be eaten often had both of their arms and legs broken and were made to sit up to their necks in a stream for three days, a practice said to make their flesh more tender, before they were killed and cooked.
Teeth filed to sharp points were widely thought by Europeans to be the mark of cannibals, but in some societies whose people actually were cannibals, teeth were not filed at all, and in others that did not practice cannibalism, people nevertheless filed their teeth to sharp points.
As Sydney L. Hinde noted during the Arab War, the Batetela were such devoted cannibals that children actually killed and ate their parents “at the first sign of their decrepitude,” but they did not file their teeth. Ibid.
In 1907, the Bankutu people were seen by a European traveler to hunt people for food as other Congolese hunted animals. They served human flesh in “little rolls like bacon.” As late as 1923, American traveler Hermann Norden reported that cannibalism was commonplace.
One Congolese man reprovingly scolded him for not eating some human flesh when he was offered it: “You know the flesh of man tastes better than the flesh of a goat.” A Belgian companion of Norden’s admitted that he had probably been served human flesh and had eaten it unknowingly.
In 1925, Hungarian anthropologist Emil Torday reported an encounter with a Muyanzi man who boasted about cooking human brains with a pinch of salt and red peppers, then dipping his bread in it. “Then he would smack his lips and run away like an imp.”
Missionary and explorer A.L. Lloyd reported that when a European told a Bangwa tribesperson that eating human flesh was a “degrading habit,” the man answered, “Why degraded? You people eat sheep and cows and fowls, which are all animals of a far lower order, and we eat man, who is great and above all; it is you who are degraded.” Ibid, 86
While in the Congo, Livingstone saw human parts being cooked with bananas, and many other Europeans reported seeing cooked human remains lying around abandoned fires.
British captain and medical officer Sydney L. Hinde, who would take part in the Free State’s war with the Arabs in 1892-93, reported an incident in which a Basongo chief asked a Belgian officer’s tent to cut the throat of a little slave girl he owned. He was cooking her when soldiers seized him.
British adventurer Herbert E. Ward once asked a group of Congo tribespeople whether they ate human flesh. Their immediate answer was “Yes, don’t you?”
Later, Ward witnessed cannibalism on numerous occasions and was often offered human flesh to eat. He recalled an occasion when a young Bangala slave was killed. Soon after, the chief’s son, a boy of sixteen or so, “nonchalantly” said, “That slave boy was very good eating – he was nice and fat.” Ibid, 88
Several European officers in the Force noted with a mixture of horror and approval that because Congolese on both sides of such battles cooked and ate all of the dead and wounded, burial parties were unnecessary and diseases were kept under control. Cannibalism had become so routine that one Force Publique officer admitted he had become quite “bland” about it.” Ibid, 100
At least a thousand Arabs were killed – then smoked and eaten. Ibid, 102
While some Free State officials were exploiting Congolese and others tried to care for them, a constant concern of these Europeans was cannibalism. It was not simply the eating of human flesh that repelled them, but that so many people were murdered expressly so that others might feast upon their bodies.
Early in the 1660s, Englishmen Andrew Battell escaped the Portuguese who had enslaved him, to spend sixteen months among the Jaga people near the Congo’s Atlantic coast. He reported that they preferred human flesh to their own cattle.
Later, as we have seen, healthy children were stabbed to death to provide a feast for their owners, and men were known to help sick coworkers “die,” then smoke their body parts for later consumption.
Six Bangala men on the Stanley, a thirty-ton, stern-wheel steamer, were suspected by the ship’s captain of killing two crewmen who fell ill. They pleaded innocence, but smoked human body parts were found hidden in their lockers.
Some men showed no restraint in their appetite for human flesh. When one of Gongo Lutete’s wives was killed in battle, his own men ate her. Enraged, Lutete ordered these men killed the next day and eaten. None of the Europeans were surprised that Africans on both sides of the war with the Arabs routinely cooked and ate not only the dead they found on the battlefield, but the wounded as well.” Ibid, 108


Edgerton, Robert B., The Troubled Heart of Africa: A History of the Congo. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2002. 
Harris, Marvin, Cannibals and Kings: The Origin of Cultures. Glasgow, 1978, p. 69.
Hogg, Garry, Cannibalism and Human Sacrifice, quoting The Rev. James Chalmers, Life and Work in New Guinea. RTS, 1895.
Lange, Algot, In the Amazon Jungle. Putnam, New York, 1912.
MacGregor, Sir William, Foreword to Murray, Papua, or British New Guinea. Faber Unwin, 1912.
Maynard, Dr. Felix & Dumas, Alexandre, The Whalers. Hutchinson, 1937.
Métraux, Alfred, Easter Island. André Deutsch, 1957.
Murray, J. H. P., Lieutenant-Governor and Chief Judicial Officer, “Papua”, Papua, or British New Guinea. Faber Unwin, 1912.
Rice, A. P., in The American Antiquarian vol. XXXII, 1910.
Seligmann, C. G., “South-eastern New Guinea”, in The Melanesians of British New Guinea. Cambridge University Press, 1910.
Simpson, Colin, Adam in Ochre . Angus & Robertson, 1938.
St Johnston, Alfred, Traveller, Fiji Islands, Camping Among Cannibals. Macmillan, 1883.
Walker, H. W., FRGS, Wanderings among South Sea Savages. Witherby, 1909.
Wallace, A. Russel, Travels on the Amazon. Ward Lock, 1853.
Williams, F. E., Orikaiva Society. Clarendon Press, 1930.

Map of the Romance Speaking World

Here is a very nice map of the parts of the world that speak a Romance language, in whole or in part. The main languages covered here are Spanish, Portuguese, French, Italian and Romanian.

Nice map of the Romance languages of the world. Click to enlarge.

The heavy Spanish speaking zone is Spain, Rio Muni, New Mexico and Latin America except for Brazil, the Guyanas, Haiti and some Caribbean islands that speak French. To a lesser extent, it is spoken Spanish Sahara and Belize. To a much lesser extent, it is spoken in  parts of the US and in the Philippines where it is a dying colonial language.

The heavy Portuguese speaking zone is Brazil, Portugal, Angola, Mozambique, other parts of Africa and East Timor. In the latter countries, it is a lingua franca.

French is heavily spoken in France, Quebec, French Guyana, French Polynesia, Belgium and Switzerland, less heavily in much of Africa, especially Congo, the Republic of Congo, Cameroon, Gabon, Central African Republic, Chad, Niger, Mali, Togo, Cote d’Ivorie, Burkino Faso, Senegal, West Africa, Central Africa, Djibouti and Madagascar, less in the rest of Canada, and even less in Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Mauritania, Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria and Louisiana, where it is a dying colonial language overtaken by national languages in Southeast Asia, Arabic in Northwest Africa and English in Louisiana

Italian is spoken heavily in Italy and less so in Libya and Albania.

Romanian is spoken heavily in Romania, Moldova and Serbia.

Native Peoples Adrift in the Modern World

Repost from the old site.
Note: This post has been accused, as usual, of racism. See here for my position statement on racism.
Recent news articles on the disgusting degeneration of many Polynesians in New Zealand into US Black-style gangbangers seems to be the case with many “indigenous peoples” in the world today.
They just do not seem to be cut out for modern, Western, high-tech society. In most cases, Whites came into their lands and either invaded and conquered them or merely colonized them, and took away their old way of life, which, limited as it may have been, was at least working for them.
A description of the Micronesians of Saipan from the interesting Saipan Sucks website (my notes) is instructive. Note this is just one American expat’s point of view, and does not represent my feelings about Micronesians, but instead represents those of the author of Saipan Sucks. I know nothing of Micronesians; I have only met one in my life, and he was just fine.

There is a very high rate of sexual molestation on Saipan, along with a very high rates of women having several kids, all by different men, and men fathering children by different women and never bothering to support any of them.
The locals basically refuse to work in any sort of productive occupations, and family-based corruption in politics is endemic. School performance is abysmal.
Spousal abuse is common. There is more incest and cousin marriage on Saipan than anywhere in the US. The police hardly bother to investigate any homicide cases, apparently since they are too incompetent to complete an investigation. The locals are profoundly racist against all Americans – especially White Americans.
The wealthy Micronesians on Saipan are almost all notorious thieves who stole every nickel they made. Theft and lying in all of the Mariana Islands is endemic, and the stealing is so bad that locals actually resort to bolting their furniture to the floor.
Micronesians feel they are racially superior to everyone, especially Filipinos, who are the most talented and hardest working people on the islands, as they are in much of that part of Asia.
Interestingly, the Filipino IQ of 89 is the same as the Micronesian IQ of 87. The suggestion is that the Micronesian IQ of 87 plays little or no role in much of the pathology above.

Although I have never been to Micronesia, I assume that this description is representative of the behaviors of far too many native Saipanese. Why do I think this? Because I have seen this same pattern here in the US with Native Americans and the Black and Hispanic underclasses.
This panoply of attitudes and pathologies is not limited to the Micronesians, but is common amongst many native peoples in our world, based on my observation.
These people used to hold traditional occupations at which they functioned well. Now, they can no longer do these jobs, and they are either not able to do or are not interested in doing modern work.
The following set of pathologies (in whole or in part) seems to be common amongst far too many indigenous peoples today:
Unwilling or unable for work in the modern economy, they become chronically unemployed, and are often regarded by others as lazy people who refuse to work, collect every welfare program they can, spend days sitting around doing nothing, and often drink to excess, or nowadays, take drugs. When they do work, their working style is often seen as irresponsible or lackadaisical.
They often do not do well in school, in part because many of them are not even used to being inside four walls, since they are used to spending much of their time outdoors. In their traditional life, there was no formal schooling, just learning by observation.
The family structure has typically been badly broken up for whatever reason, and child abuse of various forms is common. Women have kids by various different men and do not bother to marry any of them. Men for their part have children by various women and then refuse to support any of the kids.
Politics is characterized by a tribal, clan-based, often vicious and immoral scheme of ultra-corruption. Police and government officials are often lazy and incompetent.
Things like roads in Congo and water treatments plants in Saipan either never get built, as in Saipan where the natives apparently can’t figure out how to build one, or don’t get repaired, as in Congo where 90% of the country’s roads have vanished due to lack of repairs.
Bilingual programs founder when students are said to be literate in neither English nor their native language.
Crime spirals out of control as traditional village-based law enforcement systems are no longer operative, and impoverished and often unemployed natives are often confronted with mass wealth, waved right in their face.
Virulent anti-White or anti-East Indian racism takes hold due to resentment that these groups may have a higher standard of living, or may have settled or colonized their land in the past, along the painful realities of their own culture’s failure to succeed in the modern world combined with their observation of the others’ great success in negotiating that same modernity.
Indigenous people, selected via repeated famine to survive on very little food, are hit like a ton of bricks with the Western high-calorie, high-salt, high-fat diet, which they are not physiologically adapted for. The result is mass obesity, diabetes, hypertension, at least with some groups – Micronesians, Melanesians, Aborigines, Polynesians and North American Native Americans in particular.
The set of pathologies above is quite evident in many indigenous cultures, including Native Americans in the US and Canada, some Native Americans in South America (Amazon tribes in particular), native Siberians in Russia, Inuit in Canada, Alaska and Russia, Sub-Saharan African Blacks, Negritos in the Andaman Islands and the Philippines, Aborigines in Australia, Micronesians, Polynesians and urban Melanesians in New Guinea.
Some suggest that IQ may be a factor in this situation. These groups have the following average IQ’s (world average is also included):

Siberian Natives: 102.5 (est.)*
Inuit (Eskimo):   94
World Average:    92
Amerindians:      89
Polynesians:      88, but varies**
New Guinea:       86
Micronesians:     86
African Blacks:   70
Aborigines:       65

*Native Siberian IQ is not known, but Mongolian IQ is 102.5, and Siberians may be similar.
**Some Polynesian groups have higher IQ’s. The New Zealand Maori IQ is 93, the Cook Islands Maori IQ is 92 and the Samoan IQ is 90.5 The first two are right at the world average IQ, and the Samoan IQ is close to the average. Interestingly, the first two islands were settled later in the Polynesian expansion.
Siberian difficulties in adapting to modern life cannot be explained by IQ, nor can the problems of the Maori or the the Inuit. Average Polynesian, Micronesian, Amerindian and New Guinea IQ’s are not remarkably low, being only 3 points below the world average.
Many countries that seem to function quite well with the modern world, such as Cuba, Iran and many Arab and Latin American countries, have average IQ’s in the 86-88 range, but most of these peoples have been living in a more modern way for quite some time now. Few could be considered “indigenous peoples”.
It is true that the IQ’s of Aborigines and African Blacks are quite low.
In short, IQ is not sufficient to explain the problems that each of the groups above have in adaptation to our modern world.
In New Guinea, people living traditional lives in the mountains seem to do well, while the capital of Port Moresby is a crime-flooded, drunken urban catastrophe. In Samoa, traditional Western Samoa seems to do a lot better with their traditional lifestyle than American Samoa, where a Western way of life holds sway along with a very high crime rate.
Cook Islanders and New Zealand natives are both Maori. Cook Islanders have a functional society, as they still live a traditional life and have not yet been deluged with tourists. In contrast, the Maori situation in New Zealand is often regarded as catastrophic, with very rates of crime and the sorts of pathologies described above. Biologically and IQ-wise, the two groups are identical.
A few Andaman Islands Negritos have barely been contacted much at all (Sentinel Island), and they are doing quite well. Others have been contacted but still mostly live a traditional life, and they are doing less well but are still generally functional (the Onge and Jawara).
Some Andaman tribes who have been removed from traditional life seem to have completely lost their way, live on government reservations, are mired in the most deplorable pathology and even seem to be slowly going extinct (Greater Andamanese). For an overview, see George Weber’s great website.
A roughly similar situation holds with a number of tribes in the Amazon – the more they are left pretty much alone, the better off the are.
In regard to the difficulties in adaptation described above, let us note that in their traditional societies, these people typically never had vehicle roads (or vehicles), water treatment plants, schools, money-based societies with paid government employees and cops nor written languages.
In addition, marriage and divorce may have been a casual affair in many pre-contact societies. An excellent study1 of the pre-contact Northern Ache of Paraguay found that by age 30, the average Ache woman had been married and divorced 10 times (see page 13).
For decades, the Left has been offering an intellectually vapid, yet appealing, reason for these pathologies. “Western imperialism” or some such evil invaded and settled their lands, or colonized them, or looked at them wrong, or something. A long time ago. Like over 100 years ago.
Like most arguments of the Crazy Left, this argument sounds really cool until you start to look into it.
Many of these groups here never really got colonized in any real way, or at all, and in many cases, Whites did not even “take their land.” Lots of folks who were “colonized” or “got their land taken” recently still get on fine with modernity, including Basques, people of the Caucasus, Kurds, Armenians, Greeks, Assyrians, Ahwaz, Berbers, Tamils, Kashmiris, Assamese, Karen, Shan, Acehese, Saami, on and on.
Jews even got 75% of their population killed in Europe in one of the crimes of the century. Sure it was horrible, but the Jews picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and are now possibly the most successful ethnic group on Earth.
The pattern above raises interesting questions. A pattern of having multiple children by different men, where the men refuse to support the women, is the bane of many of these cultures above. Does it have roots in tribal society?
Was the Ache pattern of repeated marriages and divorces described above the norm in many tribal societies? Early travelers to Africa did report that marriages often did not seem to last long and that marriage, divorce and sex seemed to be all be casual enterprises.
In a tribal culture, where all food just gets tossed into the pot for everyone to eat, maybe it does not matter if a man does not provide specifically for his wife and kids, as long as the village provides for them. Children were often raised by groups of women while the men went off and hunted, fished or did whatever all day. By evening, the men would return, and then the intact families would spend some time together.
Since the children were being raised collectively by large groups of women – mothers, aunts, older cousins and sisters, grandmothers – there was little chance to get into trouble. At the first sign of trouble, one of the many women would be right there to put an end to it.
Curiously, studies in Israeli kibbutzes have shown that children raised this way have the lowest rates of antisocial behavior of any child-raising style.2
In our modern world, with many incompetent females raising children with no father around, or a father around only sporadically, with the woman overwhelmed, absent, working or on drugs or alcohol, kids are free to run wild. Lack of father figures and modern extended adolescence means the young males drift towards gangs in an effort to act like men.
I don’t really know what to do about any of this.
One idea is that a lot of these groups are not really cut out for modern life. Many of these people may do better if they lived more traditional lives, in traditional villages, with traditional styles of behavioral regulation (chief, elders, family or clan). Of course, the decision of whether to live a more Western or less Western life should be left completely up to the people themselves.
Western life is not for everyone, and we need to consider that for many indigenous peoples, it is not only harmful, but it is also deadly.
We can still provide them with medical care, make sure their structures and infrastructure are functional and intact, insure that they have water, plumbing and electricity, and provide them with food or supplementation if they need it. In many cases, they may need to return to a native diet or risk early death eating a Western diet.


1. Hill, K. and Hurtado, A.M. 1996. Ache Life History: The Ecology and Demography of a Foraging People. New York: Aldine de Gruyter.
2. Lykken, D.T. 1995. The Antisocial Personalities. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Assoc.

Africa Addio

Repost from the old site. Africa Addio is an incredible movie, must watch for anyone who wants to understand post-colonial Africa. Tragically, the movie is now banned in a number of European countries as a racist flick, but it is nothing of the sort. This just shows you where PC insanity leads.
A great movie. I just got through watching it. Africa Addio or Farewell Africa is an Italian documentary film shot in 1964 and released in 1966. The film, by famous Italian documentary film directors Gualtiero Jacopetti and Franco E. Prosperi, is about the decolonization of Africa. There’s some great music by the Italian composer Riz Ortolani.
The directors had earlier become famous with the release of Mondo Cane, a famous shock documentary.
It was released in the US in a censored version called Africa Blood and Guts, with all the fine music cut out. Jacopetti and Prosperi disassociated themselves from this American perversion of their film.
The film has English subtitles so you can follow right along.
Tragically, the film was condemned by the PC Orthodox anti-racist idiots who rule our Western world. It has subsequently been banned in Italy and the UK as “racist.” Much criticism nowadays has centered on the movie being racist, misleading, exploitative, or staged. In particular, film critic Roger Ebert has singled the film out as racist.
Jacopetti was tried in Italy on charges of murder on the grounds that one of the executions in the movie was staged for the film. He was acquitted.
All of this is quite unfortunate. 1964-1966 was not exactly the height of racial liberalism in the West.
A friend in Italy tells me that Jacopetti and Prosperi were both liberal and progressive men, and neither one was racist or fascist in any way. He described them both as “open-minded”. He also said that in Italy it is understood that the directors blamed colonialism for creating the conditions that led to much of the violence depicted in the film.
The film simply tells the truth about decolonization in Africa. It was brutal, horrid, stupid and genocidal. In quite a few ways, colonialism did seem better. Immediately after decolonization, there were horrible tribal wars. In the course of these tribal wars, there was horrible massacres of men, women and children of opposing tribes.
Arabs, up to 30,000 of them, were singled out and massacred in Zanzibar. In some cases, Whites were killed, even as they were trying to flee the country. In at least one case, the Simba Rebellion in Congo, the Simbas committed mass cannibalism on the opposing forces. Hutus slaughtered 18,000 Tutsis.
There are scenes all through the movie of scores or hundreds of bodies lying all over beaches, towns and jungles, or piled in mass graves. We watch the killers as they do their dirty work.
It’s not a pretty movie.
At the same time as humans were being slaughtered, so were animals. Under colonialism, great game reserves had been set up, and men had scarcely been allowed to enter at all. If they did, they were to keep their voices down to not disturb the animals.
With decolonization, all Hell broke loose. At one point, the animal slaughter was so bad that the Africans called the British Army back in to set up the game reserves again. This was quickly amended, and every Friday was kill the animals day. We watch helpless as hunters, White and Black, massacre animals – hippos, elephants, gazelle, cape buffalo, crocodiles, by the thousands.
Apparently at some point later on, some sane people came to power and the animal slaughter drastically tapered off. Because if the animal slaughter depicted in this movie would have been allowed to continue, there would not be one large wild mammal left in the continent.
The animal slaughter has continued, but the grim scenario predicted in the movie has not come to fruition. Large game reserves have been set up, and large mammals still in general have decent populations, except for a few like rhinos.
44 years after decolonization, it’s amazing that there are any large mammals left in Africa at all. I think we should give Africans some credit. It’s been 44 years, and they haven’t killed all the big animals yet.
The horrible tribal wars seem to have tapered off, though there are still some horrible wars in Sudan and the Congo. For most of Africa, there is peace or relative peace; the horrible, insane and stupid massacres of the decolonization period have not continued or rematerialized. This is good.
In 1964, it seemed that Africa was going to continue in racist and tribal genocide and mammal slaughter until most of the people and all of the big animals were gone. This has not occurred. Africa has proved better than our worst fears, and it’s been nearly a half century.
Let’s give them some credit.
In part, I think that the horrible leaders and parties of the decolonization period have been followed by much better leaders and political parties in most nations.
The film also discusses South Africa, and predicts that it will not last. They were right.
The film is being distributed now on the Net at least in part by White Supremacist assholes, but that figures, and it doesn’t make it a bad movie, except if you’re an anti-racist loon.
The truth just hurts sometimes. During the decolonization period, a lot of Africans were acting really bad. That’s history. Now a lot of Africans are acting a lot better. That’s progress.