One of the worst things you can accuse a culture of is cannibalism. Europeans often applied this charge to Indians—most often the Aztecs. Historian Gary B. Nash explains why this occurred:
The evidence also suggests that the English stereotype of the hostile savage helped assuage a sense of guilt which inevitably arose when men whose culture was based on the concept of private property embarked on a program to dispossess another people of their land. To type-cast the Indian as a brutish savage was to solve a moral dilemma. If the Indian was truly cordial, generous, and eager to trade, what justification could there be for taking his land? But if he was a savage, without religion or culture, perhaps the colonists' actions were defensible
Cannibals in the Stereotype of the Month contest
Anasazi Cannibal Woman for sale
Indian societies practiced misogyny, torture, and cannibalism
Indians practicing cannibalism and torture dominated America
Capitol One ad shows primitive natives about to boil tourists
Pirates depicts Caribs as savage, incomprehensible cannibals
FunPic features baby "Indians" roasting "explorer" in a pot
Europeans wanted only to civilize cannibalistic Indian "thugs"
Columnist: Aztec "dining habits" involved eating hearts
More on cannibalism
Those sick, savage Europeans
Colonists who eat colonists
Cannibalism in our schools!
Were the Aztecs murdering "animals"?
Indiana Jones and the stereotypes of doom
Scalping, torture, and mutilation by Indians
. . .
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