Native American Cannibalism and Dog-Eating

Last year, I wrote several Halloween inspired essays on topics such as Pleistocene vampire bats, dire wolves and lycanthropy, and the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone. (See ) Monstrous extinct animals abound in the pre-history of southeastern North America, and I can choose from  a lot of potentially terrifying topics for Halloween-themed essay material,  but none of the monsters of the past are scarier than Homo sapiens.  Flesh-eating zombies are popular in fiction today.  But the concept of mindless non-entities eating people is laughable nonsense when compared to the true history of live humans eating other humans.  Maybe this is because we assume people have compassion and empathy for their fellows, and it’s shocking when history proves this is not always the case.

I’ve written an irregular series on this blog fantasizing  about how I would live in Georgia 36,000 years BP, if I could bring some modern conveniences back in time with me.  I picked that time because it’s almost certain there were no people here yet.  As long as I had firearms and a secure dwelling, I wouldn’t be afraid of the animals, but I would be afraid of irrational pre-historic people. I’m sure cannibalism has existed among Homo sapiens for tens of thousands of years ever since before modern man evolved, but most of the evidence is gone.  However, there is plenty of documented evidence of cannibalism among various Native American tribes.  They were caught in the act during European colonization.

Indians roasting arms and legs.  Early Germanic tribes in Europe practiced cannibalism as well.  A recently discovered site in Herxheim, Germany dating to 7,000 BP unveiled evidence of spit-roasted humans.  The bones were cut and the marrow sucked out.

The Skidee Pawnee migrated from the Red River valley to Nebraska circa 1400.  They were part of the Caddoan culture.  The Caddoans believed they had to sacrifice a young woman to the morning star or their corn crop would fail.  Although they would sacrifice one of their own if necessary, they preferred to sacrifice a captured slave.  When the Skidee Pawnee raided a village, they’d kill all of the adults.  They’d carry the small children back with them to serve as food on the return journey, and they’d keep the older children as slaves, some of whom were used for the sacrifice to the morning star.  The slaves were treated well, and these ritual sacrifices were made quick and painless–the victim probably even thought they were about to be honored not killed.  But captives meant to be eaten were severely tortured as the following account by Andre Penicaut illustrates.

All the men and women in the village assemble around the flames where these poor fainting persons are tied.  Each family lights its fire before which they place a pot full of hot water, and, when the sun has arisen, four of the oldest savages, each one with a knife in his hand, make incisions in the arms, thighs, and lower legs of the ones hung up whose blood runs from their bodies to the extremities of their feet where four old men receive it in vessels.

They carry this blood to two other old men whose duty it is to have it cooked in kettles, and when the blood is cooked, they give it to their women and children to eat.  After they have consumed the blood, the two dead men are detached from the frame and placed on a table where they are cut up.  The pieces are distributed to the entire assembly of the village, and each family cooks some of it in its pot.  While the meat is being cooked they begin to dance.  Then they return to their places, take the meat from the pots, and eat it.”

The bible story of Abraham’s near sacrifice of Isaac is a reference to human sacrifice in Western culture.  The Judeo-Christian tradition changed this culture, but the story itself suggests human sacrifice was once widespread in Eurasia as well.  Ancient Semitic tribes shared with the Indians the bizarre belief that the Gods needed to be placated by sacrificing young people.

Before battles the Iroquois always pledged to the Sun God that they would eat their enemies.  The French Jesuit priests witnessed Iroquois eating captives.  The Iroquois tortured and ate the patron saint of Canada, Father Jean de Breboeuf.  They baptized him with boiling water, held fire-heated axes to his skin, cut off his tongue to stop him from praying, scalped him, and removed his still beating heart.  They drank his blood before they chopped him up and distributed his meat to be eaten.

Indian scalping an enemy.  Contrary to apologist historians, Europeans did not introduce scalping to Indians.  However, they did add monetary value to scalps.  Removing and saving the whole head was more common than scalping prior to European colonization.  It simply became more convenient to carry  scalps instead of heads when seeking monetary rewards.

Most of the Chippewa tribes abhorred cannibalism, but they would eat Iroquois in retaliation for Iroquois eating Chippewa captives.

There was a cannibal cult within the Kwakiutl tribes which lived in British Columbia.  Only the Hamatsa, the chief of the cannibal cult, was allowed to eat human flesh.  To become a Hamatsa, a man had to kill another Hamatsa, so the number of cannibal chiefs stayed constant.  Other people, usually his wives, brought him human flesh.  They killed people to eat, but they also ate corpses from those who died of natural causes.  The Hamatsa chief ate both fresh and dried human flesh.  Supposedly, the dried human flesh (jerky) was easier to eat.  Slaves were kept as food.  George Hunt witnessed an Hamatsa feast.  The chief ate a mummified human, then bought a slave in exchange for 100 blankets, and he killed her by biting her throat, and he ate her raw.

The Tonkaway lived on a narrow strip of land in south Texas between the Karankawa and the Comanche.  Besides cannibalism, the Tonkaway are infamous for infanticide.  All female babies were thrown to the dogs to prevent inbreeding.  Apparently, all wives were captured from other tribes.  If a parent had a bad dream, they killed the male babies too.  It’s frightening to contemplate this irrational belief system.  The Comanches especially hated the Tonkaway because the latter would eat captured Comanche braves.  The Comanches were ok with the brutal torture to death of prisoners, but not cannibalism.

The Karankawa inhabited the coastal region of Texas.  Although they were well known for cannibalism, the U.S. government used the Karankawas as allies in its wars against the Comanches and Apaches.

A scientific analysis of human feces found at the Cowboy Welsh site in Colorado proves the Anasazi Indians were cannibals.  The site dates to about 950 AD.  Here, at least 1200 lbs of human flesh were processed and eaten.  A mask made fr0m the skin of a human face was excavated from this site.  Imagine a kid showing up for trick or treat with a face mask made literally out of another person’s face.

Native Americans wouldn’t just kill and eat a family, but they’d eat the family dog too.  The Sious, Cheyenne, Paiute, Nez Pierce, and Hidatsa all ate dog until the early 20th century.  The Kickapoo were famous for their puppy stew.  The Aztecs raised fat little dogs which they castrated so the canines would grow even fatter.

Dog-eating in North America dates to at least 9400 BP.  Human feces containing part of a dog’s skull, dog meat, dog brains, fish, bird, and prickly pear fruit was found in Hinds Cave in south Texas.  Dog is still commonly eaten in parts of Asia.

A paleofecal sample.

9400 year old human coprolite found in Hind’s Cave, Texas that contained part of a dog’s skull.

A Korean dog stew.  Looks delicious.  I would eat it…or at least try it.  I have no qualms about eating dog meat.


Feldman, George Franklin

Cannibalism, Headhunting, and Human Sacrifice in North America: A History Forgotten

Alan Hood Company 2008

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26 Responses to “Native American Cannibalism and Dog-Eating”

  1. James Robert Smith Says:

    I had three close friends when I lived in south Georgia who are of Scottish descent. And very proud of their Scottish heritage. Morbidly so, because among their direct ancestors was a family of highwaymen who routinely slaughtered their victims to consume their flesh. Not only did they rob them of their cash and valuables, but they served them up as dinner, too. Apparently when they were finally caught and executed, some family members were spared, and so my Scottish pals of south Georgia were around to entertain me with such tales.

  2. markgelbart Says:

    That probably trumps the evil in my ancestral background.

    My grandfather on my mother’s side of the family sometimes mentioned that a wing of his family were “horse thiefs from Alabama.”

    My mom’s cousin researches geneology and she discovered that part of our family is descended from Vikings. Vikings were well known for violence. Richard, the lion-hearted is also one of my ancestors. I think he was supposed to have been pretty brutal but well liked by his men.

  3. jane-watsken Says:

    that is completley horiffic and nasty i cant believe that they do that Oh and why wouldnt they eat each other?

  4. rom Says:

    Rachel Plummer was one of the captives taken by the Comanches in May 1836 at Parker’s Fort in Texas. She did write in her narrative, after her release, that Comanches killed a Osage-warrior and ate him. Her mistress wanted her to taste the flesh and she almost fainted in disgust. But she might as well have invented that story (and the story of the killing of her child) to malign the Comanches.

  5. My 500th Post | GeorgiaBeforePeople Says:

    […] […]

  6. SamM Says:

    Dog is still sacrificed and eaten in ceremony in honor of tradition. Agreeing with it or not it does still happen in 2016. But it’s no different than eating horse or beef. Many believe eating them is also wrong. It’s a matter of culture and tradition.

  7. U.S. Government Will Allow Religious Nuts to Bury a 1 of a Kind Scientific Specimen | GeorgiaBeforePeople Says:

    […] the ancestors of some of these tribes may have even fed upon Kennewick man’s kin.  (See: ) Their claim on this specimen is based on phony political correctness. They can’t […]

  8. Shaun Peterson (@qwalsius) Says:

    beheading is NOT scalping my friend it’s quite simple.

  9. vishnujanadasa Says:

    Humans are frugivores/herbivores anatomically. It’s healthier and more compassionate.

    • markgelbart Says:

      No they are not. Humans evolved to eat and digest meat during Ice Ages when climatic conditions deteriorated and nutritious easy to digest plant foods were not available. Humans living near the arctic circle can subsist entirely on fish, seal meat, and whale blubber and they are perfectly healthy. Eskimos would have a hard time digesting a diet high in plant foods and fruit.

      • vishnujanadasa Says:

        Inuits of the artic circle have many chronic health problems contrary to what many think.

        Inuits had the same or greater rates of heart disease than Westerners, before they even started eating sugar. You cannot use them as examples of people with few rates of heart disease. They are not long-living either. Those are facts based on the most reliable data we have. Here is a study by a team of Canadian and Danish Scientists:

        Here is the proof for lower bone density in the Inuits:

        And more proof:

        They looked at data as far back as they could. Their findings were: “The evidence for a low mortality from IHD among the Inuit is fragile and rests on unreliable mortality statistics. Mortality from stroke, however, is higher among the Inuit than among other western populations.”

        If you look at Table 1 in this study, it shows that even back in 1936 and 1940, the Inuits suffered from heart disease. This is before modern diets invaded them.

        The Western diet may have actually increased the health of the Inuit because they ate less animal fat and protein as a result: “The decrease in mortality from IHD in Greenland since 1965 is surprising in view of the rapid westernization of the country during the same period. A similar trend was present among Alaska Natives[13]. If this represents a real decrease in the incidence of IHD and not just a change in diagnostic habits or improved possibilities for treatment, it will be difficult to maintain the importance of the traditional marine diet for a low incidence of atherosclerosis and IHD in these popula-tions. Studies from 1952 estimated that 54% of the daily energy intake in the villages of Northwest Greenland came from traditional food[46]compared with 25% in1991[47].”

      • vishnujanadasa Says:

        Horses and humans and other “sweaters” are all herbivores. Humans like herbivores and frugivores (which we more closely resemble) have alkaline saliva (ptyalin) whereas omnivores/carnivores have no carb-digesting enzymes. Similarly humans have smooth tongues like plant eaters and additionally we use the tongue to shovel food in like frugivores. Omnivores/carnivores have rough tongues-especially meat eaters for tearing flesh). We have simple livers and large salivary glands like plant eaters as opposed to the complex (extremely complex for carnivores) livers and small glands. Brian chemistry is different and many other things. Again our molars, incisors, and “canines” are different from meat eaters and we have well-developed facial@muscles for chewing whereas omni/carnivores have reduced muscles for wipe mouth gapes as they generally chomp* up and down and swallow their food in large chunks (*meat eaters jaws as mentioned chimp up and down generally and can’t move sideways). The jaws of plant eaters are the same but different from meager eaters both Omni and carnivores, which are similar to each other. Omnivores are generally carnivores who eat some plants. There are many other points too. Human instinct is to feel compassion for hurt animals (because we have advanced understanding such as empathy that interestingly enough animals also share often). We don’t salivate at dead corpses. But we do for grapes and oranges etc. Fruits and leafy greens are our ideal food. The health benefit even have been known for millennia.

  10. markgelbart Says:

    You are full of shit.

    I salivate when I see a juicy, bloody beef tenderloin. The human instinct is not to feel compassion for other animals because there are many hunters out there who love to kill animals just for the hell of it.

    If it wasn’t for the evolved ability to eat meat, the human race would’ve become extinct long ago. Chimpanzees, our closest relatives, eat meat.

    The Inuit may get heart disease when they get old, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t perfectly healthy during the prime of their life, just like everybody else.

    • vishnujanadasa Says:

      Maybe you salivate from the cooked fat or Pavlovian conditioning but I doubt you salivate at a freshly killed animal on the side of the road. No one salivates at dead bodies axtually. That’s because your brain-chemistry is that of a plant eater.

      Yet humans do feel compassion for animals. Some may not but then again serial
      Killers also don’t feel compassion. Compassion is a sign of higher development/intelligence.

      There is absolutely nothing about meat that was required by man. Chasing your food around all day is a lot more disadvantageous than growing it and saving time and energy.

      Inuits suffer chronic dosease throughout their shortened lives. Plenty of links above for you.

      Chimps maybe eat 1-3% of meat in their diet, primarily during the dry season when food is scarcer, and it’s mostly insects.

      Chimps also eat their own feces and engage is incest.

      The anatomical points I made above still stand.

  11. markgelbart Says:

    Our evolutionary ancestors ate meat and plants. Here’s the point you have been unable to counter. If humans didn’t evolve the ability to eat meat, humans would’ve become extinct long ago. Non-toxic nutritious plant foods have not always been available throughout human existence. Meat is an healthy natural food high in protein which is a macronutrient necessary for human survival.

    Why do you keep repeating the dead roadkill point? It is a strawman argument. No one is claiming road kill is appetizing, but freshly butchered meat on the grill is?

    I’m not wrapping anything in pseudoscience. You are with your unsupported claim that humans have the brain chemistry of a plant-eater.

    • vishnujanadasa Says:

      Ancestors were vegetarian

      As pointed Scientific American points out above, our guts and those of our ancestors were of plant eaters. According to standard theories of evolution, we would have been plant eaters predominantly for 25 millions years. While meat has nutrition and is a complete protein (many plants, even milk for vegetarians-are compete proteins), we don’t have the digestive systems meant to live off of it regularly.

      There are over 50,000 edible plants. You may be surprised how many species of land are actually edible and extremely nutritious. In fact most people could survive from the wild plant life growing outside their doors (

      There were a few regions where plant material may have been rare or some catastrophe or famine that led people to eat meat, but these are the exceptions- not the norm.

      All animals are more or less attracted to fatty acids, and when you grill one may be attracted to the fat, but without changing the appearance and texture of the food no one will generally eat meat. If everyone had to hunt their food meat consumption would drastically reduce. If image they would be less than what vegans’ number are today (veganism grew 400% in the US alone since 2014).

      I don’t salivate over meat grilling any more than I would if you were grilling a man.

      Traditionally most people didn’t eat meat. The nobility may have but this was often accompanied by religious rituals. Even in the Vedas (where Hinduism/Buddhism came from) the rajas (Kings) would hunt but offer the animal in sacrifice that would give it a human birth in the next life (They would hunt tigers and other wild animals to protect the forests-populated by holy men also- and to keep their prowess sharp. Even the templars shunned meat-eating as warrior-monks, but would sometimes hunt for virtually the same reasons).

      Most people still eat predominantly plants, but with the industrial revolution and mechanized slaughterhouses in the early 20th century, the common man could imitate the wealthy and have meat. Thus a huge industry grew. Combined with modern advertising and people are Pavlovianly conditioned to eat meat and disconnect from the suffering and even environnemental damage done.

      Is it a coincidence a few decades into the 20th century then, that young men were sent to their own mechanized slaughter in the grenaches and fields of World War I?

      As long as men massacre animals, they will kill each other. Indeed, he who sows the seeds of murder and pain cannot reap the joy of love.

      ~ Pythagoras/Tolstoy

      If just 10% of America went plant-based, you could feed every hungry person on earth as many more resources are needed to raise cattle.

      Plants are producers, animals are secondary and tertiary consumers etc, and this they eat a smaller % of energy from sunlight the animals originally produced. Therefore plants are more dense nutritionally. An acre on land may produce 128 lbs of meat, but 900 lbs of grains. Cows are large mammals that consume huge amounts of food/water.

      925 million people (the population of the US, Canada, and Europe, who are suffering malnutrition and starvation (

      • markgelbart Says:

        Your claim that our recent ancestors were vegetarian is completely false. Meat is easier for humans to digest than plant foods. For example 97% of beef gets digested compared to 89% of flour and just 65% of most vegetables. Meat satisfies the human appetite more than any other food because it stays in the stomach longer. Our very ancient ancestors fed upon fungi-covered tropical leaves that would be toxic to modern humans. Humans have evolved since then to become more dependent upon meat as a part of our diet. Without this evolutionary advance, humans would’ve become extinct long ago.

        An isotopic study determined Neanderthals–an evolutionary close cousin and possible partial ancestor–enjoyed a diet of 80% meat and 20% plant foods.

    • vishnujanadasa Says:

      Meat (or eating in general) is an overrated pleasure. All food is simply texture and flavor, which chemically you can essentially mimic to surprising realism with plants foods such as beans or peas etc. (Wheat gluten, seitan, even paneer, an Indian milk product similar to fresh cheese). Then you add seasonings/sauces as usual.

    • vishnujanadasa Says:

      *Jackfruitis also an excellent subsitute (there are many plant substitutes. Durian is similar to custard cream pie actually).

  12. Homo sapiens is a Meat-Eater | GeorgiaBeforePeople Says:

    […] didn’t like my blog post, “Native American Cannibalism and Dog-Eating,” (See: ).  In the comments section he went on a long rant, explaining how humans are frugivores […]

  13. sagatiaej Says:

    This is severely ignorant, assumptive and your research was done half-assed. I suggest you start over and try again. This time actually interview tribal members. Articles and blogs written this ignoarantly and misinformed, are responsible for much of the cultural misappropriation that our tribes suffer today.

    • markgelbart Says:

      Hey shithead,

      This isn’t my research. I reference my source at the bottom of my article. Here it is again, because you were too dumb to understand the first time you attempted to read it.

      Feldman, George Franklin
      Cannibalism, Headhunting, and Human Sacrifice in North America: A History Forgotten
      Alan Hood Company 2008

      I didn’t misappropriate anything. Go fuck yourself.

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