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How Columbus Invented Cannibals

How did Christopher Columbus invent the idea of “Cannibals?”

While evidence of people who eat other people existed long before Columbus, the idea of tribes of “savages” in the jungle who hunt other people for food was truly birthed with Columbus. He is even the first person to ever use the word “Cannibal” to describe such people. The problem is, no such people really existed in the Caribbean islands where Columbus landed. But the myth of the savage Cannibal took on a life of its own and became a common way to excuse colonization and slavery. How did it happen?