National Geographic : 2003 Mar
FROM OUR ARCHIVES Flashback ROBERTA. BACHMANN ISLANDS OF THE PACIFIC For a Man-size Appetite 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. The influence of Christianity ended cannibalism in Fiji by the close of the 19th century, but Western fascination with the grisly practice continued. In the late 1880s tourist demand sparked a brisk trade in counterfeit cannibal forks that continues today. Our records don't say if this photograph, acquired by the Soci ety in 1917, is of the real thing or not. It has never before been published in the GEOGRAPHIC. You can send this month's Flashback as an electronic greeting card and access the Flashback photo archives at nationalgeographic.com/ ngm/flashback/0303. NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC (ISSN0027-9358)IS PUBLISHED MONTHLY BYTHENATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC SOCIETY, 114517THST.NW,WASHINGTON, DC20036-4688.$3400AYEARFORU.S .DELIVERY, $6.00PERSINGLE COPY(INCLUDES POSTAGE ANDHANDLING). PERIODICALS POSTAGE PAIDATWASHINGTON, DC,ANDATADDITIONAL MAILINGOFFICES. POSTMASTER: SENDADDRESS CHANGES TONATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC, POBOX63002,TAMPA. FL33663-3002.