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multiculturally yours

By Diogenes (bio - articles ) | Oct 07, 2007

It seems that every time a pope makes a trip to South America, there's a spate of news stories about Indians protesting the 16th century introduction of Christianity into the continent as a tool of colonialist oppression and an unprovoked assault on the indigenous spiritualies which flourished among the natives of the time. As with every comparable endeavor, no doubt there were many occasions of inexcusable rapacity in which the conquerors' religion was warped into an unseemly role. Yet it's facile to assume the indigenous religions were themselves free of unwelcome obligations. The following news item shows what it meant in pre-Christian Peru for your kids to take part in the Offertory:

LONDON (Reuters) - Hair samples taken from child mummies suggest the ancient Incas "fattened" up children chosen for ritual sacrifice months before actually killing them, British researchers said on Monday.

A chemical analysis of four mummies found high in the Andes mountains also indicates the Incans took the children on a lengthy pilgrimage prior to the killings, the team said. In the case of the 15-year-old "Llullaillaco Maiden" the road to death started at least 12 months before.

"We are looking at a process that began a considerable amount of time before their death," said Andrew Wilson, an archaeologist at the University of Bradford, who led the study. "The maiden was essentially being fattened up or prepared for her final fate at least 12 months before her killing."

Call it "full and active participation" in the liturgy.

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Show 2 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: - Oct. 08, 2007 11:30 AM ET USA

    This is impossible! Any good intellectual/anthropologist (aren't they one and the same?)knows that all savages are noble. Remember all the screaming that when on when it was shown that the Anazazi indians in New Mexico practiced cannibalism ? They found over 38 sites of this evidence in 4 states, and yet the psuedo-debate goes on. www.canyonsworldwide.com/chacoCanyon/p25.htm

  • Posted by: - Oct. 07, 2007 7:59 PM ET USA

    No facts, no amount of common sense will convince the professional shriekers that Native American religion isn't at least as good as (actually, better than) the RC variety. These are the same people who maintain similar propositions concerning the relative merits of Native American medicine versus the European scientific variety. At least until their kids are sick.

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