A few years ago, I was your typical office-worker: stressed out, uneven energy, overweight, and inconsistent complexion. Now I'm just your typical 28-year old urban hunter-gatherer on a quest to be healthy, and having a few adventures along the way. See my full bio.
I came across this National Geographic article on cannibalism in ancient Mexico. It's not too often that you come across an article with a subtitle like this: "Eating humans "crucial" to spiritual life of the Xiximes people". Too funny.
Here's an excerpt on Xiximes spirituality:
Most of the time the Xiximes would prey on lone men from other villages working in the fields. Other times, the Xiximes would engage small groups in forest battles, according to the historical record.
The warriors would bring the dead victims back to the village, where Xiximes would rip the bodies apart at the joints, taking care not to break the bones. In cases when carrying a whole body was impractical, the head and hands would be removed and brought back to the village, according to INAH's research.
Body parts were cooked in pans until the bones emerged clean. The flesh was then cooked with beans and corn and eaten in a type of soup—part of an all-night village ritual, complete with singing and dancing, according to missionaries' reports.
After the feast, the bones were stored for months in treasure houses. Then, in the run-up to the annual planting season, the Xiximes would hang the bones from roofs and trees—enticements to the spirits to help the crops along.
"For these practices," Punzo said, "they were called by Jesuits the wildest and most barbarian people of the New World."
These people clearly weren't aware of all the antinutrients in beans and corn. There's more here.
So many good things happening, I can barely stay on top of it all.
1. Outside Magazine features Erwan Le Corre and MovNat. Outside Magazine is a big deal, and I'm really happy for Erwan. It's a great overview of MovNat, the connection to paleo eating and lifestyle stuff -- but it also has some sick stuff on Erwan's background. Get this:
Then, at age 18, he happened to watch a television show about a 45-year-old Parisian stuntman named Jean Haberey. At one point, Haberey jumped out of a helicopter into an iceberg-strewn ocean wearing only swim trunks. It was the most outrageous thing Le Corre had ever seen—and he wanted to do it, too. A year later, he tracked Haberey down, and for the next seven years he followed him and his other disciples around the French metropolis, playing high-risk games: a "fight club of natural movement," as Le Corre puts it.
"He was the first guy to take people up onto the roofs of Paris," Le Corre said. "He also took us down into the underground, always barefoot, with no gear at all, to train people how to move silently like cats through urban obstacles … especially at night, when everyone was asleep."
Once, Haberey and Le Corre held a sit-up competition while dangling by their legs from a bridge over an eight-lane superhighway. Another time, Le Corre climbed along the transom of a tower crane, legs dangling in the void nearly a hundred feet above the ground. "It was crazy," Le Corre recalls, "but you just felt so alive."
Haberey's urban antics helped kick off the parkour craze, but Le Corre, like most of his followers, eventually grew disillusioned. "I supported him for a while," Le Corre says, "but it turned into a cult of his personality. It became too dark and underground, all about helping him, not others."
And I'm super excited for what Erwan has in store for the future:
One question we all seem to be pondering is finally asked out loud by Fred Fombrun: "What exactly am I supposed to do when I get back home?" he says. "There aren't a lotta parks where I live in northern New Jersey."
Le Corre is working on an answer. In 2009, he met Robb Wolf, the influential CrossFit instructor and The Paleo Solution author, through a mutual friend. Inspired by Wolf's story and the viral success of CrossFit, Le Corre began hammering out a business plan modeled on it: he hopes to train and certify instructors, who will license the brand for their own gyms or create grown-up outdoor playgrounds like ours. Or both.
I'll take this moment to point out that I was the mutual friend who put Erwan and Robb Wolf in touch!
2. My buddy Michael Malice, author of UFC Champion Matt Hughes' book Made in America, was on Fox News talking about legalizing MMA. He did a great job. Why was MMA banned originally? Too brutal? "Human cock-fighting," as John McCain put it. But the reality is that there are few serious injuries or deaths...far fewer than football or boxing and probably a lot of other sports. And even if there were more injuries, it's just more of the nanny state protecting people against themselves. (First 3 minutes.)
The bones were cut by stone tools and smashed open for marrow, suggesting that the Neandertals were cannibalized before the ground collapsed beneath their remains and buried them soon after their death, 49,000 years ago.