Headhunting and Shrunken Heads: Gruesome Ancient War Trophies

October 2, 2019 - General
A fake shrunken head.

Headhunting is a practice that has been carried out by numerous cultures throughout the world. For instance, during the Qin dynasty in ancient China it is claimed that soldiers collected the heads of their dead enemies and tied them around their waists. This was intended to terrorize and demoralize their enemies.

Despite the fact that headhunting was not too uncommon a practice, the shrinking of human heads is one that was unique to the Jivaro people of Ecuador and Peru.

How People Used to Make a Shrunken Head

The process of making a shrunken head began by obtaining a human head in battle. A head was removed from the body by cutting the skin at the extreme base of the neck. An incision was made up the back of the neck in order to peel the flesh away from the skull. The entire skull was then removed and thrown away. The eyes were sewn shut, and the mouth closed by passing small, sharp palm pegs through the lips.

Source: origins

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