An animal who eats another of the same species. The term has been extended from its original use, which was confined to humans, to include all animals who feed on each other. From Canibales, the Spanish name for the Carib tribe of the West Indies who practised cannibalism.
The endocannibalism practised by the Betsileo thus guaranteed the community the continued presence and blessing of the ancestors --something assured in the 19th-century Merina fandroana or 'New Year' festival (which Molet claims replaced traditional endocannibalistic practices) when every person was obliged to sacrifice cattle (the number slaughtered reflecting the wealth and status of the deceased).
For South American practitioners of endocannibalism, the ritual was necessary to assist the deceased to pass into the world of the ancestors.
This withdrawal of a group into itself through endocannibalism placed fathers [caa] in the position of in-group maternal uncles: instead of transmitting the flesh and blood of themselves and of their daughters to another clan through marriage, they offered these bodily substances to their 'son', the chief.