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Cannibal TalkThe Man-Eating Myth and Human Sacrifice in the South Seas$
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Gananath Obeyesekere

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780520243071

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520243071.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 20 September 2021

Narratives of the Self: Chevalier Peter Dillon’s Fijian Cannibal Adventures

Narratives of the Self: Chevalier Peter Dillon’s Fijian Cannibal Adventures

(p.193) Seven Narratives of the Self: Chevalier Peter Dillon’s Fijian Cannibal Adventures
Cannibal Talk

Gananath Obeyesekere

University of California Press

This chapter focuses on Peter Dillon, who, on September 6, 1813, presented an eyewitness description of a cannibal feast that has not been surpassed in its detail before or since. Dillon was the author of a two-volume work on his search in Vonikoro on the Santa Cruz Islands for the remains of La Pérouse's ships, which were lost in the South Pacific in 1788. The first chapter of this work provided an eyewitness description of the preparation, cooking, and consumption of European and native enemies at a Fijian cannibal feast. Before proceeding to Dillon's narrative of his self, the chapter introduces the readers to the events leading up to the cannibal feast presented in Chapter 3 of Davidson's biography of Dillon, The Path to “Dillon's Rock.” After discussing these events, the chapter then examines parts of Dillon's text to demonstrate his self-valorization, as he represents his adventures in the first person. It discusses Dillon's construction of a heroic role for himself and posterity.

Keywords:   Peter Dillon, cannibal feast, Fijian cannibal feast, Dillon's Rock, self-valorization, heroic role

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