Endocannibalism: Do Bigfoot Eat Their Dead?


Skeptic: What about Bigfoot's bones? If they die, they have to leave bones. 
Typical researcher: The animals in the forest eat their flesh, scatter their bones. 
A brave researcher: They bury their dead.
Me the realist: I see no reason they don't cannibalize their kin. 

I have reasons for seeing it this way and once you see the supporting evidence, you may go into a new category - realist.

My concept began with the red-haired giants of Lovelock Cave. These are the ones from long ago that the Paiutes report a legend of their cannibalism. Around the entire world, Native People have almost identical legends of cannibalistic giants, yet anthropologists disregard the notion. 

It is interesting to note that around the world we have concepts of God and yet I dare an anthropologist to dispute this as just a Native Legend. 

So, there were reportedly a people who were tall and had cannibalistic tendencies. This caused many wars with the Native People and eventually battles in which many giants were killed off and others ran for the hills realizing they were outnumbered. The themes are in nearly every culture.

If a people who thought nothing of cannibalism as an option were forced into hiding, knowing that they will be killed for acting on those impulses, you might have a forest people who are cagey around our kind. 

Whether the practice of cannibalism was practical - hunger and a carnivorous not omnivorous tendency (like a lion) or a spiritual practice of taking on the enemy's power (think of the Highlander lopping off heads), we may never know. 

But, evidence of endocannibalism (eating one's own relatives) in Homo sapiens past and culture are shown around the world, not just New Guinea, but Africa, Easter Island, the pueblo cliff dwellers of the United States Southwest, Asia, and ancient man. 

If you were a secreted people and you knew that you cannot leave remains, perhaps your very spiritual nature is to consume the spirits of totems, like deer and bear and other, then you might carry a belief that consuming your family puts their spirit in you.

This is not so farfetched when you look at cultures that DO eat their dead (more on this later in this post)

Let's go deeper down this rabbit hole 

How about a gene adaptation that keeps those who cannibalize protected from Kuru Disease (Laughing Disease) that occurs from eating brain proteins of your own kind?

It was the Fore People of New Guinea that helped us understand something intriguing - the more they ate their dead's brains, the more resistant they were to the prions that created Kuru Disease. Adaptations like that in a population who continued to eat their dead might make this a feasible practice through generations.

LINK: After years of eating brains, some Fore have developed a genetic resistance to the molecule that causes several fatal brain diseases, including kuru, mad cow disease and some cases of dementia...When the researchers looked at the part of the genome that encodes prion-manufacturing proteins, they found something completely unprecedented. Where humans and every other vertebrate animal in the world have an amino acid called glycine, the resistant Fore had a different amino acid, valine.

WIKIPEDIA: Endocannibalism is a practice of eating the flesh of a human being from the same community (tribe, social group or society), usually after they have died.

It is believed that some South American indigenous cultures, such as the Mayoruna people, practiced endocannibalism in the past.The Amahuaca Indians of Peru picked particles of bone out of the ashes of a cremation fire, ground them with corn, and drank as a kind of gruel. For the Wari' people in western Brazil, endocannibalism is an act of compassion where the roasted remains of fellow Wari' are consumed in a mortuary setting; ideally, the affines would consume the entire corpse, and rejecting the practice would be offensive to the direct family members. Ya̧nomamö consumed the ground-up bones and ashes of cremated kinsmen in an act of mourning; this is still classified as endocannibalism, although, strictly speaking, "flesh" is not eaten. Such practices were generally not believed to have been driven by need for protein or other food.

Kuru is a type of transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE) caused by prions that are found in humans. Human prion diseases come in sporadic, genetic and infectious forms. Kuru was the first infectious human prion disease discovered. It spread through the Fore people of Papua New Guinea, in which relatives consumed the bodies of the deceased to return the "life force" of the deceased to the hamlet. Kuru was 8 to 9 times more prevalent in women and children than in men at its peak because, while the men of the village took the choice cuts, the women and children would eat the rest of the body, including the brain, where the prion particles were particularly concentrated. The kuru epidemic, which is recorded to have begun in the 1920s, is believed to have been started by the consumption of a single individual with kuru, which then spread through the population. Oral history records that cannibalism began within the Fore in the late 19th century. Recent research at University College London identified a gene that protects against prion diseases, by studying the Fore people

Cultures known for endocannibalism
Jukun people (West Africa)
Aghori (India)
Callatiae (Asia)
Fore people (New Guinea)
South America
Amahuaca people (Amazon)
Mayoruna  (Amazon)
Wari’ people (Amazon)
Ya̧nomamö (Amazon)

It was recently discovered that the Neanderthal people regularly practiced endocannibalism, although their reason for doing so is unclear, as it was doubtful it was necessary for calories, although it may have been understood among their kind that the final gift was calories. 

 Church teaching places the origin of the Eucharist in the Last Supper of Jesus with his disciples, at which he is believed to have taken bread and given it to his disciples, telling them to eat of it, because it was his body, and to have taken a cup and given it to his disciples, telling them to drink of it because it was the cup of the covenant in his blood.

Do Bigfoot consume their dead? 

I think it is a very feasible practice among a very cryptid tribe. In fact, over many generations this might have been approached as both a magical spiritual practice to take on your clan member's powers/knowledge, but also a necessary task to remain hidden. 

It would be as if every family member approved of the concept of being consumed rather than risk the clan.