nibal ritual, but were anyway transculturated by their adoption
the group, in the manner of an affine or ‘‘pet’’ (Fausto ; A
Christine Taylor ).
Just as Europeans of the sixteenth century then compared this
to the transubstantiation of the Eucharist in Catholic ritual, so (a
Foucault ) it is illuminating to compare the public theater of
nibal violence to the contemporary European theater of public p
ishment and execution. In the latter, the destruction of the bodie
the condemned was no less integral to the reproduction of society,
critical difference being that the incorporation of society took p
through the symbolic exclusion of its victims. It is also significant t
that European discussion of Tupian rituals put great stress on co
tive participation in the destructive production of the victim. This
done to illustrate the barbarity of the ritual exercise, with both c
mentators and illustrators on the Tupi repeatedly alluding to the
ticipation of women and children in the cannibal moment. Howe
making this comparison also helps to explain why community par
pation was required among Tupians but not in the punishment of
European criminal—the State, not Society (after Pierre Clastres
Michael Taussig), constituted the forms of inclusion and exclus
It is therefore striking that community participation in the cann
moment shocked the Europeans more than the cruelties and torm
themselves. But this was perfectly consistent with the notion tha
inclusion, not exclusion, of the victim was envisaged in the Europ
tradition of torture and execution as an adjunct to judicial proc
Equally, the State always abrogated the right to determine commu
membership and deployed a monopoly of force to that end. In co
quence, the mutilation of the criminal and heretic became a theat
spectacle intended to dramatize the authority of Law and to rit
ize its enforcement by the professional agents of the State. Bodies
body parts were therefore displayed as embellishments to the archi
ture of state power on spikes above gates, in cages on city walls,
on gibbets in sanctioned execution grounds. The destiny of the bo
and body parts of the Tupian victim was to be distributed among
community as a whole, according to the status of each member, inc
ing women and children, which thereby signaled that revenge m
be made with any member of that community, that any member m
Ritual Violence, Magical Death 
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