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Mana

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Abstract

SAEZ, Oscar Calavia. O canibalismo asteca: releitura e desdobramentos. Mana [online]. 2009, vol.15, n.1, pp. 31-57. ISSN 0104-9313.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0104-93132009000100002.

Aztec cannibalism has been the object of numerous interpretations that have characterized it in ecological, cultural or symbolic terms, or as a piece of colonial propaganda. A revision of the most widely known Spanish, Indigenous and Mestizo sources shows that this quest for wide-ranging explanations has been reductionist. The complexity of the sources, in which cannibalism, depending on its qualification, emerges as a heterogeneous, prescriptive or nefarious object, endowed with extensive sociological meaning and pointing towards divergent versions of cosmology, has been largely overlooked. The article also proposes a comparison between Aztec cannibalism and its equivalent along the Brazilian coast and in Amazonia, which attests to its coincidence in a transformational cosmology.

Keywords : Cannibalism; Sacrifice; Aztec; Tupi; Amazonia.

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