#Login Register
The Vigilant Citizen Forums

Mumia: Powdered dead eaten by elites

06-10-2016, 11:39 PM #1
Status: Offline Posts:151 Likes Received:168
This is a head trip and honestly, though I'd heard of cannibalism in ancient wars and rituals, this is a tradition of aristocrats and elites consuming the powdered remains of the dead or in more gruesome circumstances, human blood and putrified flesh, in the hope of attaining some energy or magical assimilation of their lifeforce or being during life. 


Mumia: Renaissance Cannibalism in an Apothecary's Formula
06/10/16 10:08:12 (8 comments)
by: Elena Vosnaki
It comes as a surprise to everyone I share this tidbit with that when Leonardo da Vinci was painting his Last Supper, people in royal courts and aristocratic houses used to partake of a different, yet oddly analogous, cannibalistic Eucharist: they consumed"mumia", the grounded powder coming off the smashed heads and bodies of embalmed mummies, usually coming from Egypt but not exclusively. 
Perish the thought that people actually consumed mumia internally, but this is what they did from at least 1000AD onwards: vital energy at its most macabre. Egyptology might not have been born, yet people knew these corpses were old. The ground matter of the corpses, black, firm and putrid smelling, defies modern logic, as do most arcane and animistic practices that come from the prehistoric world. Eating a worthy opponent or an ancestor is an ancient practice in order to graft their excellence unto the eater. In an even more sinister turn of events, like the one reported by Sinafasi Makelo, representative of Mbuti pygmies to the United Nations when people were hunted down and eaten like game animals, the eaten can be regarded as "subhuman" and their flesh considered to infer magical powers.  
What is it which serves the notion that the Other has powers of Magick [sic] which are covetable and claimed, even through cannibalism? It's as old as Cronus/Saturn eating his children. 
There is no conclusive psychological answer as of yet. Only theories are propounded. 

Goya's famous painting of Saturn devouring his kin
In the case of mumia, the reasoning of famine can be safely excluded. Anthropologist Marvin Harris, in his book "Kings and Cannibals", propounds the possibility that the Aztec diet of the MesoAmerican peoples was lacking in protein, so the alleged cannibalistic practices tied to human sacrifice there might act as the reward of an aristocratic diet. Mumia eating during Renaissance Europe nevertheless was both expensive and eaten in such quantities that it wouldn't justify sustenance for a healthy adult. Therefore the reasoning deviates in the other possible direction; that of inferring magical properties, of acting as a prophylactic amulet (of which we have repeatedly discoursed in the 1001 Past Tales series) and as a medicinal aid.
One fascinating explanation holds that a person's life span is predetermined (common in many folk tales across cultures, standing as a lantern whose oil is predetermined from birth) and therefore one's unnatural death would provide harvesting of the rest of his or her predetermined life...
Johann Schröder, a German pharmacologist of the 17th century, instructed that the "cadaver of a reddish man [...] of 24 years, who had died of a violent death, but not illness, [...] was to be hung up in a very dry and shady place." Then it should be cut into small slices, sprinkled with "myrrh and at least a little bit of aloeswood" and then soaked in wine for a predetermined set of days. The result would be as good smelling as "smoke-cured meat", "without any stench."
Yummy, no? 
Axung Hominis refers to human fat...for consuming (via wikimedia commons)
"You should choose that which is shining, black, bad-smelling and firm," instructs another arcane medical handbook which had been picked up by indie perfumer Mandy Aftel when she was researching the scent of "mumia" for her book "Fragrant" where it makes a tentative appearence, that most mysterious and most alchemical of ingredients ever entering a formula for wellness and invigoration and standing as a powerful aid against epilepsy (much like the Roman practice of drinking the blood of gladiators), ulcers, poisoning as well as a general panacea. 
Arabs and Europeans in Renaissance times and peaking in the 16th century actually did taste and smell ground, embalmed corpses dating from the ancient Egyptian kingdoms. None other than the infamous Catherine of Medici, patron to perfumer-poisoner Rene the Florentine, dragged from their native Italy to France when she was to marry the French king, was chronicled to have made a trip top Egypt in 1549 in order to loot through the tombs around Sakkara, seeking for medicine-sourcing materials coming from mummies. Her father in law, King Francis I of France, carried a sachet of powdered mumia on his person as a protection against ailments and bleeding; a consideration very pertinent in an era of stubbings as a matter of course (St.Bartholomew's Night would soon follow). He was not alone. 
King Charles II of England also favored distillate of human skull. His daily "king's drops" were prepared from such a distillate for which he had allegedly paid 6,000 pounds. 
In a similar vein, no pun intended, Pope Innocent VIII had three young boys bled when on his death bed and drank their blood. Unfortunately for all involved Hades wasn't in a good mood that day. 
Seeing as the consuming of corpses was thriving during the Crusades, mainly due to their reputation of stopping blood loss, even as western history is trying to erase the traces left in history, the synchronous secret Societies that emerged, such as the Knight Templars and their Free Masonry descendants (all the way down to the Yale Univesity Skull and Bones secret society), have been connected to the cannibalistic rituals of consuming glands, human fat and powdered skulls of the dead. 
It wasn't only kings and aristocrats cannibalizing either; priests and scientists ate mumia too, as evidenced in Richard Sagg's book "Mummies, Cannibals and Vampires: The History of Corpse Medicine from the Renaissance to the Victorians".  As an archaeologist and historian myself I have come across various references of ceramic containers which were supposed to contain a powder coming from the grinding of actual embalmed corpses, often bearing the label "mumia" (or mumia), as well as written sources cataloguing it, none more recent than the medical supplies catalogue from the turn of the 20th century by E. Merck. 
But weren't people repulsed by smell and flavor alone? More than one might imagine. 
It's rather ironic that tar bubbling off the ground, that common material from which so many perfumery materials blossomed forth during the chemical advances that the late 19th century offered us, is, when dried, the very asphaltum (also known as carabe or bitumen of Judea) which was used to fool those pesky cannibals of the European courts...
photo of mummy seller by Felix Bonfis, via wikimedia commons
Ancient Egyptian mummification processes, as we have described in our article Ancient Fragrance Lore: from Egypt to the Eastern Mediterranean, often included asphaltum to fill the empty body cavities after the removal of internal organs. The black color of the mummies had excited the collective unconscious during less scientifically focused times, making both Arabs and Europeans of the Middle Ages believe that the black hue might even be superior for the preparation of pigments. The reason given, in one testimony chronicled in the book The Chemistry of Paints and Painting by Arthur H.Church is that the raw asphalt suffers compared to mummy pigment in that the latter has lost some of its volatile hydrocarbons in its chemical makeup, due to the heat it has been exposed to, and additionally offering more solidity and less fusibility seeing as the mummy asphalt results from grounding the bones of the corpse together. 
The smell of this asphalt wasn't particularly welcoming by any account, even though we have Plutarch's testimony of it being used in that sacred, fragrant concoction of the Ancient Egypts that is kyphi. It is reputed to be metallic and tarry with a touch of sulphur, an element connected to diabolical forces as we discussed in our previous article A Diabolical Whiff: Scents of Hell, so the preparation of asphalt mumia was used in incense blends that would be used in desctructive talismans and negative magick. It was used on the back of scurrying mirrors, if you're familiar with those. Could the cunning Catherine of Medici be therefore using mumia for her more sinister endavors? It very well could be.
Whatever the complicated reasons behind eating, smelling and talisman-holding of the ground mumia in the Arab world and Western Europe during the centuries spanning from 1000AD to 1900AD, the trend unquestionably waned upon the discovery that the high demand of the mumia resulted in the con artist trade of fake mummies; namely the steeping of slaves' corpses in asphalt, the drying and subsequent grounding of their body parts to be sold as Egyptian mumia...
In matters of life, vigor and health, death seems to be the perpetual, confusing, yet compelling historical response. 
Find all the author's historical articles in one place on 1001 Past Tales
Elena Vosnaki

Elena Vosnaki is a historian and perfume writer from Greece and a Writer for Fragrantica. She is the founder and editor of Perfume Shrine, one of the most respected independent online publications on perfume.

Her writing was recognized at the Fifi Awards for Editorial Excellence in 2009 and in 2011.

She is consulted as a fragrance historian & expert and has been curating fragrance installations at museum exhibits at the Milan Expo 2015 and elsewhere. She also contributes to publications around the world.
The following 1 user Likes Daisy's post:
  • Thy Unveiling

06-17-2016, 06:07 PM #2
Thy Unveiling
Status: Offline Posts:2,637 Likes Received:5690
A very interesting read, ty for sharing! It seems disgusting to me that anyone would want to be using really old, foul mummies for any purpose, but then a lot of things "the elite" sort do seems really repulsive IMO...

I can't help but wonder what kind of horrors go into Beyonce or Lady Gaga's perfumes. LG has one called Blood and Semen, or something equally appealing, so I honestly wouldn't be surprised to discover those are actually two key ingredients. I don't want to think about Britney's perfumes because I love Fantasy...It smells like cotton candy!

"Be the change you want to see in the world"

There's only one true judge and that's God; so chill and let Our Father do His job
The following 1 user Likes Thy Unveiling's post:
  • MissCherokee

06-19-2016, 07:37 PM #3
Status: Offline Posts:1,911 Likes Received:4354
i highly doubt the instances put in place to research whether the ingredients are valid and healthy would not have discovered these 'ingredients' hidden and more; if discovered, how on earth they would be silenced for a famous tool to make some extra bucks. so i call hoax on any theory that these perfumes actually contain these ingredients.

the idea is only to sell by raising attention. and some shocking titles cause attention,, and thus sell.

I mean who would buy a perfume called 'Calm essence' from Lady Gaga or Beyonce.
isntead, Semen and Vagfluid raise eyebrows and thus shock and then sell.

I mean lets face it, as if anybody buys 'Playboy' perfume because they have the best smell. If you'd blindfold people, they'd pass all of these 'hype' materials immediately. but that's not how the world works.

apart from that, i have my doubts on this mumia stuff actually happening, but i also know there are the likes of followers of crowley so, well- yeah, why not.

"The accumulated filth of all their sex and murder will foam up about their waists and all the whores and politicians will look up and shout ‘Save us!’ And I'll whisper ‘No
The following 2 users Like Riddler's post:
  • Trenton, Thy Unveiling

06-19-2016, 09:17 PM #4
Thy Unveiling
Status: Offline Posts:2,637 Likes Received:5690
Egh...yeah....while I personally wouldn't want to buy or wear something with such a ...appealing... name, there are those who probably think it sounds cool. Given that Lady Gaga is most likely a follower of Crowley, and the sort she works for/with, would you really put it past her/them to be adding drops of actual blood and man fluid (most likely taken from a sex magick ritual) to the perfume? I know it sounds over the top, but really now, look at her career. Whole thing is built on being over the top. Idk enough about perfume and chemistry and all that other stuff to present an intelligent argument, but it is no secret that scents can affect a person's mood and appetite. Even Disneyland or Disneyworld, probably both, pump the scent of vanilla in areas of their park to drive people's hunger and make them spend more money. I'm sure there's also chemicals or whatever being absorbed into our skin when we adorn ourselves with colognes and sprays. Again, I'm not scientifically minded enough to get into the, well, science of it. But surely there's something there.

I'm not saying all perfumes are made with dead bodies or blood or any of that. But truly, I'm sure there are some that are made with ingredients that would turn our stomachs, and I'm sure that some of them do have strange effects that usually go unnoticed. I mean, anti-perspirant has been linked to causing breast cancer in women. Yet its a difficult task to find straight up deodorant in stores. And it works like crap when you do find it. Or maybe I perspire more than the average girl, idk. Regardless. If our food, toothpaste, antiperspirant, etc can cause us to suffer health issues or dumb us down, surely there's something up with perfume too.

"Be the change you want to see in the world"

There's only one true judge and that's God; so chill and let Our Father do His job