Saturday

iculanibokola : cannibal forks

{
Two cannibals were eating a clown.
One turns to the other and asks, "Does this taste funny to you?"
and his friend says, "Yeah. and I'm having a ball." 

}


For centuries in the Fiji Islands, tribal officials would bring out their best utensils for special people, not to serve them, but to eat them. The tribal officials were cannibals, and the special people were the meal.


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. Combining social status, religion and warfare made production of these forks a royal undertaking. Elaborate carvings from unique materials including human bone became the sole purpose of dedicated craftsmen.







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