Within the history of mankind, several social norms and values have drastically changed. What was once thought of as new and exciting is now taboo. While the Western World was transforming into a "civilized- society, there were still ancient tribes that continued on with their social roles and customs. A widely debated norm that has questioned our morals is cannibalism or anthropophagy.
Historians have claimed that the practice of humans eating other humans has been around for the last five hundred thousand years, yet only recently was a name conjured up for the behavior. The origin of the word cannibalism came from the Spanish word Carib or Cañibales, which was the name of the warlike West Indian tribe whose members ate human flesh. Many accounts of horrific human cannibalism have been reported all around the world throughout time; there are even some passages in the bible that tell cases of anthropophagy. For instance, "I will make them eat the flesh of their sons and daughters, and they will eat one another's flesh- (Cannibalism 1). There are several terms which fall under the category of cannibalism: exocannibalism, endocannibalism, emergency cannibalism, and criminal cannibalism. In many cultures, exocannibalism (eating an enemy) was believed to transfer the dead person's "skills, power, and positive qualities- to the consumers (Cannibalism 2). In addition, it was thought by some that it would "eternally separate his body from his soul, and thereby extend revenge beyond the point of death- (Cannibalism 2). On another note, endocannibalism (a society that eats their old and sick members as a sign of respect) is less known, and only few tribes practice this. In Australia, cannibalism was a form of burial; "one tribes member stated that he wanted be eaten by his relatives rather than by the worms in a grave- (Cannibalism 2). Primarily, anthropophagy occurs because of a catastrophic event, thus it is called emergency cannibalism.