Mythical Gods and Cannibalism Persist in
21st Century North American Tribes

by Lorna Salzman

Canadian anthropologists and paleontologists, working together in a team research and exploration effort, have discovered a large tribe of humans in proximity to their own country who still practice Stone Age rituals.

The tribe's belief system centers around a mythical god and his son, which is reflected in its hierarchical patriarchal system which is ruled by an all-male priestly sect, supported by lesser male and female acolytes who are required to be celibate.

Scientists who have observed their rituals have observed cannibalism - devouring of the body of the chief god's son in small pieces repeatedly - as well as the occurrence of visions and trances among the tribal adherents. An obsession with blood is also central to the rituals, although the source of such blood is known only by the priestly sect, not the tribal members.

The chief symbol of this primitive religion is not an animal, as is common among most tribal systems across the world which recognize their reliance upon the natural world for their survival. Instead, the cult symbol is two pieces of wood nailed together perpendicular to each other. The scientists remain perplexed at the significance of these pieces of wood.

There is evidence that some sectors of the primary cult broke away partly from the original system and adopted more tolerant and lenient practices so as to be more accommodating to doubting tribal members, but the core belief in the mythical supreme being was never abandoned.At least one precursor cult and some descendants did not include the "son of god" aspect of the cult, insisting that there was only "one god",though some of these "reformed" cults use different names for the god, or eschew naming the god entirely.

While older primitive animist tribes and cults exist elsewhere in the world, notably in parts of South America, Africa and Australia, as well as the middle east where authoritarian Islamic myths persist, such societies were never reached by the Enlightenment era that swept western Europe; thus, cut off from Enlightenment discoveries and precepts, their adherence to irrational superstitions, myths and cults were a continuation of their ancestral traditions.

But this tribe, located only miles south of the southern Canada border, and covering an area of millions of square miles, only appeared in North America approximately four hundred years ago. Scientists therefore believe that they were migratory remnants of older societies from other continents whose educational, social and political systems ignored, for some reason, the intellectual achievements and scientific progress that characterizes most of the modern world.

Whether this was deliberate on the part of the tribal leaders and priestly caste,in order to protect their power and status, or a hereditary resistance to change and new information, or a result of dysfunction of their educational system, is something that social scientists are now trying to determine.

© 2002 Lorna Salzman. All rights reserved. Material may be quoted with permission.