The word 'cannibalism' comes from the Island Carib people of the Lesser Antilles. They got a long-standing reputation as cannibals when their legends were recorded in the 17th century. Some controversy exists over the accuracy of these legends.
Cannibalism was widespread in the past among humans in many parts of the world, continuing into the 19th century in some isolated South Pacific cultures, and to the present day in parts of tropical Africa. Cannibalism was certainly practiced in New Guinea and in parts of the Solomon Islands, and flesh markets existed in some parts of Melanesia. Fiji was once known as the 'Cannibal Isles'. Cannibalism has been well documented around the world, from Fiji to the Amazon Basin to the Congo to Māori New Zealand.
- Brief history of cannibal controversies; David F. Salisbury, August 15, 2001, Exploration, Vanderbuilt University. 
- From primitive to post-colonial in Melanesia and anthropology. Bruce M. Knauft 1999. University of Michigan Press. p. 104. ISBN 0-472-06687-0
- Peggy Reeves Sanday. "Divine hunger: cannibalism as a cultural system".
- The cannibalism paradigm: assessing contact period ethnohistorical discourse, by James Q. Jacobs. A critical, academic review of Mesoamerican cannibalism claims.
- BBC article about German cannibalism case
- Harry J. Brown, 'Hans Staden among the Tupinambas.'
- Lyrics and English translation of Mein Teil, the Rammstein song about the Meiwes incident