Listen: Kuru is a neurodegenerative disorder that was prevalent among the Fore people of Papua New Guinea in the 1950s. It was discovered that the disease was contracted from eating human flesh, which the Fore people did as part of their funeral rites. Essentially, they were contracting a disease that ate away at their brains by feasting on human brains.
The symptoms of Kuru occur in three main stages. First, the person begins to lose control of various body functions. One begins to lose coordination and walking can become labored. This leads to the second stage in which the diseased will develop a shake, a tremor which oftentimes begins in the hands and spreads through the rest of the body. The third stage manifests itself in behavioral changes and dementia, as the brain ceases to serve the self. This results in bipolar tendencies and erratic behavior ranging from towering heights to crushing, silent lows. The subject will often die within a year, generally from starvation or pneumonia as breathing and eating become strained.
Kuru is rare these days, but the occasional case will still pop up every now and then in unsuspecting locations around the world.
released April 21, 2017
Noises by tann
Recorded by Phil Young at Wabi Sound
Des Moines, IA