Cannibalism is a practice of eating someone of their own species. The term applies to both animals that eat members of their group (animal cannibalism) and to humans who eat human flesh.

Cannibalism, when the consumption of human flesh by men, is also called cannibalism, from the Greek anthropos (man) and phagein (eat). Both terms are used interchangeably, but experts differ sometimes two expressions depending on the origin of the practice (cannibalism being reserved for people "savages"), by its terms (the most often involve cannibalism ritual aspect), or yet according to the purpose of this practice (we employ preferably one term survival is whether, when it comes to appropriate the qualities of the victim, or when the goal is to scare enemies, etc..).

The term comes from the word cannibal Caniba Cariba or used by the Taino that Columbus encountered on his first visit to Hispaniola. He was pointing to, as Columbus, the fearful people east of the island who were fighting the other tribes and ate their victims. On landing in Guadeloupe in November 1493, Columbus and his crew have discovered human bones while they were assigned to same people Cariba, Caniba, or become caribal Canibal. The word Caribbean was then used to describe indigenous Lesser Antilles but the cannibals of the New World, before spreading to Europe and take the form cannibal in the sense of "savage" man-eater. In 1572, Montaigne devotes a portion of the first book (I 31) of his essays, and Shakespeare is inspired in 1611 to create the evil character of Caliban in his comedy The Tempest.

It distinguishes endocannibalisme, which is to eat members of his group of people, and exocannibalisme, which is to eat members of another group of people.

The verb is sometimes used in cannibalizing the senses related: economics ("cannibalization of sales" of a product with a new product from the same brand), mechanical or electronic means, especially in the army, to serve as one retrieves one or more pieces of equipment (usually useless) to establish or repair a device in good working order. In colloquial language may mean cannibalizing monopolize labor, resources or ideas of others.

See also Shamanism


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