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Fijian Cannibal Forks

If you're ever at a dinner party where the host has a set of forks that look like these, you might want to consider leaving, quickly.

These are Fijian "cannibal forks" used for eating human flesh. The iron dance blog offers this description of them:

The cannibal fork, or iculanibokola, was used by attendants during ritual feasts to feed individuals considered too holy to touch food. These forks arose for several reasons. First is a cultural taboo that prohibits chiefs and priests from touching food with their hands. Common Fijians generally did not use utensils until Europeanization. One of the most important ceremonies a chieftain participated in was the devouring of their or the tribes enemy. Combining the significance of the event and the inability to use their hands the chiefs needed a way to participate-hence the development of the cannibal fork. Forks became a way to show power and influence. The fancier more elaborate the fork, the higher status the owner had.

Fijian cannibal forks are still made, to sell to tourists. What the tourists use them for... I guess that's their own business.
Posted By: Alex | Date: Wed Feb 15, 2012 | Number of Comments: 6
Category: Cannibalism, Food, Rituals and Superstitions
More weirdness from the WU archive:
Comments
Listed in chronological order. Newest comments at the end.
I think some hair picks got slipped into the mix here. raspberry
Posted by Expat47 in Athens, Greece on 02/15/12 at 12:33 PM
The sketches don't give a sense of how three dimensional they are. The tines are arranged like a tube rather than a flat plane like our forks. The most popular ones with tourists are the three tined eyeball forks. (I used to live in Fiji.)

http://2012wubucket.s3.amazonaws.com/chief_fork.jpg
Posted by Miles on 02/15/12 at 03:32 PM
Gotta mention how intense Fijian Tribal culture was until relatively recently. These are folks that warred constantly with each other, but rejected missile weapons like bows and slings in favor of war clubs because a real Fijian man kills you face to face. And then eats you.
Posted by Miles on 02/15/12 at 03:39 PM
Sounds like my kind of warrior. One that is not afraid to get his hands dirty.
Posted by KDP in Madill, OK on 02/15/12 at 03:42 PM
They don't mind having blood on their hands in battle, but once it is cooked they can't touch it, strange. BTW, 'eyeball fork' ewwww! sick
Posted by patty in Ohio, USA on 02/15/12 at 07:11 PM
cool grin Cool, My grandson got me one.
Posted by marty Robertson on 11/02/12 at 09:13 AM
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