Western Europeans and West Central Africans cast aliens and themselves as cannibals in early modern texts for diverse reasons. Europeans characterized themselves as civilized in opposition to their imagined double, the cannibal. Atlantic Africans claimed through speech to be either the perpetrators or targets of cannibals. Jared Staller asks how multiple communities in Angola used “cannibal talk,” or claims of anthropophagy, to terrorize enemies or dehumanize foreigners from the late fifteenth century until the end of the seventeenth century. Converging on Cannibals draws on an archive of printed and manuscript material to explore cannibal stories and their storytellers, including letters, traveler's accounts, missionary reports, heraldic iconography, engravings, maps, and paintings that enable them to reconstruct depictions of cannibals that circulated between the “Kongo composite”—a term encompassing the political regions that later made up the Kongo Kingdom such as Nsundi and Mbata—and its neighboring polities like Ndongo in Angola and Europe....

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