The Wari's practice of eating loved ones was not to meet protein requirements, but as a part of the grieving process. Death rites that included eating the corpse of a loved one helped the Wari' deal with death and grief. By removing and transforming the corpse, which embodied ties between the living and the dead and was a focus of grief for the family of the deceased, Wari' death rites helped the bereaved kin accept their loss and go on with their lives.
The Wari' provide possibly the best documentation of socially accepted cannibalism in modern times. The tribe practiced two forms of cannibalism, warfare and funerary, until the 1960s when government workers and missionaries forced them to abandon their practices. The Wari now bury all of their dead. However, older members of the tribe are uncomfortable with the practice of burial, considering it to be a less respectful and less comforting way to treat the death of a loved one.