Book Name: Cannibal Culture Book Author: Root, Deborah Date of Publication: 1996 Publisher: Westview Press Reviewer: Introduction The cannibal at the heart of culture and society remains a unique and actual part of our behavior even though it has in part, been ignored and vociferously denied, both in cultural anesthetization, and in the adjuration of our consumptive attitudes towards cultural differences…
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The same was true in Europe in the first and Second World War. Cannibal power is an integral part of culture and society. Power must be organized; the cannibal forces of Hitler had to be confronted by an equally potent force of cannibalism from the rest of the west. If that had not happened, the inevitable consumption of a culture we have all come to call civilization would have been the reality today in Europe and maybe America. The anesthetization of the way of life in the west has also been balanced by the consumptive invasion of the Iraqis and the Libyans by our own military (always in defense of our culture). This book tries to connect the thread between wealth and death, power and destruction. Wealth and security in the west could perhaps mean death in the vast desert region of Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, and other regions such as Congo and Nigeria in Africa. The true nature of power would be simple to understand only if we looked into the smoking mirror the Aztecs called Tezcatlipoca. When we look in the mirror we see the violence and destructive consumption that are immanent to power and balance in society. What this book does best is the surreal relation it draws with cultural anthropology. The essence of power as is related in this book is to preserve the society, create wealth, and give dignity. It is hidden behind the mirror of our traditions and ways of life here in the west, but it is reflected if we dare look in the mirror and behold the absolute display of its cannibal might in land where our military and diplomats fight for interest inherent to the sustenance of our traditions and ways of life. Power demands death and suffering for it to survive, and even though it has been continually disavowed and elided within our society, our western civilization is in reality no different from the Aztec Mexican culture that celebrated violence and consumption of flesh. The colonial power who later exercised monopoly right over lands, arts and aesthetics of cultural and religious importance to local communities were not different from the Aztecs who exercised tribute right over people in place to which their kingdom had expanded even though they obviously had not displayed their cannibal power as explicitly as the Aztecs did. This argument could not have been made better by this author. The authenticity and persuasiveness of this author’s approach is inherent in the fact that the research field of this book was not confined to the museums, art galleries, libraries and institutions of western malls, but was stretched far beyond the Duffer in malls in Toronto, among native Canadians to the streets in Mexico City and Kahn awake. It is evident in this book how the author has tried to relate the similarity between the Aztec Mexicans and western culture. This is perhaps, a work in cultural anthropology at its best. Chapter One Chapter one begins with the story of two brothers but it juxtaposes the gruesomeness of death and flesh consumption of Aztec Mexico with the anesthetization of death and violence of western culture. It posits that the ultimate demand of
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(“Cannibal Culture: Art, Appropriation and Comodifacation of Differences Book Report/Review”, n.d.)
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“Cannibal Culture: Art, Appropriation and Comodifacation of Differences Book Report/Review”, n.d. https://studentshare.org/anthropology/1426078-cannibal-culture-art-appropriation-and.
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