Tag Archives | Anthropology

The Mazzeri Dream Hunters Of Corsica

mazzeriOn the French isle of Corsica, the chilling prehistoric occult practice of dream hunting, performed by psychically-gifted individuals called mazzeri, is still done by a small number today. Drawing from descriptions by anthropologist Dorothy Carrington, TerraCorsa reveals:

The activities of the mazzeri stem from the Corsican hunting and foodgathering peoples of the pre-Neolithic times (before about 6000 B.C.)

The mazzeri are dream-hunters, who go out at night to kill an animal. They recognize in the face of the animal someone known to him, nearly always an inhabitant of his village. The next day he will tell what he has seen and the person mentioned will die in the space of time running from three days to a year, and always within an uneven number of days. If an animal is only wounded by the mazzere, then the person it represents will meet an accident or illness, but not death.

To be a mazzere it is necessary to have a psychic gift that opens the door to the parallel world.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Dozens Of 20-Inch-Tall, Dreadlocked People Spotted In Indonesian Forest

Perhaps heightening the mystery is the mind-bending possibility that Indonesia many thousands of years ago may have been home to a species of little people distinct from humans. Have they been hiding? Via the Jakarta Post:

Rangers patrolling the Way Kambas National Park (TNWK) in Lampung claim to have sighted dozens of pygmies in a number of areas across the park. Allegedly the pygmies sport dreadlocks, measure no more than 50 centimeters tall and do not wear clothing.

“The first sighting was on March 17…When the rangers were about to approach them, they immediately hid behind trees and vanished. They ran very fast” said TNWK spokesman Sukatmoko.

He added that several rangers patrolling the park claimed the pygmies were seen moving to the PT Nusantara Tropical Fruit (NTF) plantation. “Apparently, many fruit trees are grown in the NTF plantation area. The pygmies might have entered the plantation for food,” said Sukatmoko.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Pile Of Hundreds Of Ancient Sacrificed Skulls Discovered In Mexico

Imagine going swimming in the (now drained) lake, not knowing what lay below. Via Live Science:

Archaeologists have unearthed a trove of skulls in Mexico that may have once belonged to human sacrifice victims. The skulls, which date between A.D. 600 and 850, are “potentially evidence of the largest mass human sacrifice in ancient Meso-America.”

[The site is] in a now drained lake called Lake Xaltocan. To date, more than 150 skulls have been discovered there, as well as a shrine with incense burners, water-deity figurines and pottery suggesting a ritual purpose.

The findings shake up existing notions of the culture of the day, because the site is not associated with Teotihuacan or other regional powers. The shrines and the fact that sacrifice victims were mostly male suggest they were carefully chosen, not simply the result of indiscriminate slaughter of a whole village.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Secret Door Discovered At Center Of Machu Picchu

The secret portal has yet to be unsealed, but an electromagnetic survey suggests it houses treasure chambers filled with gold. Who’s going to try to get it and end up with an Incan curse? Heritage Daily reports:

This discovery was made possible thanks to a French engineer, David Crespy, who in 2010 noticed the presence of a strange “shelter” located in the heart of the city, at the bottom of one of the main buildings. For him, there was no doubt about it, he was looking at a “door”, an entrance sealed by the Incas.

It is indeed an entrance, blocked by the Incas at an undetermined moment of history. In April 2012, an electromagnetic survey not only confirmed the presence of an underground room, but several. Just behind the famous entrance, a staircase was also discovered. The two main paths seem to lead to specific chambers. [The electromagnetic survey also revealed] a large quantity of gold and silver.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Ancient Whistling Language Still Spoken On Spanish Island

The BBC reports on an almost-musical language:

On a Spanish island, an ancient whistling language that once seemed to be dying out is now undergoing a revival. Silbo gomero or Gomeran whistle is an ancient language the locals have assured me is still in use.

This method of communication, in which the Spanish language is replaced by two whistled vowels and four consonants, has a peculiarity perfectly suited to this landscape of deep valleys and steep ravines. It has the ability to travel up to two miles, much further and with less effort than shouting.

It is known that when the first European settlers arrived at La Gomera in the 15th Century, the inhabitants of the island – of North African origin – communicated with whistles. The arrival of the Spanish, the locals adapted the whistling language to Spanish. So the most likely theory is that the whistle came with the settlers from Africa, where there are records of other whistled languages.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Strange Sexual Taboos Around The World

Via Mind Hacks, a brief tour of cultural sex taboos:

The Cuna of Panama approve of sexual relations only at night in accordance with the laws of God. The Semang of Malaysia believe that sex during the day will cause thunderstorms and deadly lightning, leading to drowning of not only the offending couple but also of other innocent people. And the West African Bambara believe that a couple who engage in sex during the day will have an albino child.

Sometimes, sex is prohibited in certain places. The Mende of West Africa forbid sexual intercourse in the bush, while the Semang condemn sex with camp boundaries for fear that the supernatural will become angry. Among the Bambara, engaging in sexual relations out of doors will lead to the failure of crops.

Sex taboos can also apply to certain activities. Often, sex prohibitions are associated with war or economic pursuit. The Ganda of Uganda forbid sexual intercourse the night before battle.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Neanderthals May Have Been Sailors

Picture: Rawansari (CC)

It’s amazing to me to see how our perceptions of the Neanderthals have changed over the last 200 years, give or take. Once thought to be brutish, slow creatures, we now know that they had art, burial rituals, language and possibly even religion. Now, some scientists think that they may have been sailors as well – thousands of years before such things were thought to have occurred:

Via Live Science:

Neanderthals and other extinct human lineages might have been ancient mariners, venturing to the Mediterranean islands thousands of years earlier than previously thought.

This prehistoric seafaring could shed light on the mental capabilities of these lost relatives of modern humans, researchers say.

Scientists had thought the Mediterranean islands were first settled about 9,000 years ago by Neolithic or New Stone Age farmers and shepherds.

“On a lot of Mediterranean islands, you have these amazing remains from classical antiquity to study, so for many years people didn’t even look for older sites,” said archaeologist Alan Simmons at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Bizarre Death Rituals In Newly Discovered Oldest European Town

The first known European settlement contains a 7,000-year-old tomb complex where corpses were chopped in two before being positioned upright…as if to prevent the dead from rising again and running amok, but allowing them to face each other and converse. The Daily Mail reports:

Residents of what is thought to be Europe’s oldest town cut their dead in half and buried them from the pelvis up, according to archaeologists. The newly discovered ancient settlement, thought to date back to 4700 BC, is near the Bulgarian town of Provadia, about 25 miles from the Black Sea coast.

Archaeology professor Vassil Nikolov led the dig which focused on the town itself and its necropolis, where the strange and complex burial rituals were discovered.

Nikolov [said] the town’s 300 to 350 residents lived in two-storey homes and earned their living mining the surrounding area for salt, which was as important to the ancient world as oil is today.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

5,500-Year-Old Tomb Found Beneath Swedish Stonehenge

Would you dare to tamper with the burial chamber of the mythic King Ale the Strong? Via Live Science:

A 5,500-year-old tomb possibly belonging to a Stone Age chieftain has been unearthed at a megalithic monument in the shape of a ship called the Ale’s Stenar (Ale’s Stones). The tomb, in Sweden, was likely robbed of stones to build the Viking-era ship monument.

Perched on a seaside cliff in the village of Kåseberga stands the Ales Stenar, also called Ale’s Stones, 59 massive boulders arranged in the 220-foot (67-meter)-long outline of a ship. Most researchers believe the 1,400-year-old ship structure is a burial monument built toward the end of Sweden’s Iron Age. Local legend has it that the mythic King Ale lies beneath the site.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

All You Ever Wanted to Know About Cannibalism

Picture: Cannibalism during Russian Famine of 1921 (PD)

Our friends at Mental Floss offer a fairly comprehensive overview of cannibalism. Here’s an excerpt:

Exocannibalism is the consumption of the flesh of a person outside of one’s own social group, often as a way to intimidate an individual or group, steal another’s life force, or express domination of an enemy in warfare. Certain tribes in the Fiji islands maintained ritualized acts of cannibalistic “battle rage,” where captured enemy warriors were publicly tortured, killed, and consumed.

The accusation of exocannibalism may be even more damaging to enemies than eating them. When Christopher Columbus encountered the Carib Indians, he described them as “sub-human eaters of men,” labeling them inferior to Europeans and not much better than animals. They were seen as a dangerous “other,” and the murder of their people and theft of their land was easily justifiable because of that. The slur of cannibalism goes both ways, however.

Read the rest
Continue Reading