Talk:Shrunken head

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I am wondering whether this page should be merged with Head Hunter. Mona-Lynn 12:33, 17 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Head shrinking is not a necessary part of headhunting, though. Many of the peoples who practiced headhunting did not shrink the heads (not sure what they did with them). The way the headhunter page is set up with a link to this one is likely the best way to do it. 20:07, 16 March 2006 (UTC)

I think you mean this page (Headhunting) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:17, 10 September 2009 (UTC)

Nose Hair[edit]

Now, I know nothing about head shrinking but I was curious, the article says this; 'The presence or absence of nose hair is one clue as to whether a shrunken head is authentic or a replica.' But isn't it somewhat simple to add fake nose hair? I doubt this is in any way a reliable factor just as the presence of eyes isn't much of a factor in identifying a real shrunken head.--A Sunshade Lust 04:01, 25 May 2006 (UTC)

The statement about nose hair is sourced; it comes from one of the external linked websites. [1]. Believe it or don't, but there it is. Smerdis of Tlön 13:45, 25 May 2006 (UTC)


If anyone agrees with me, and has the time, I think the Headshrinker article could quite comfortably be merged with this one. The Headshrinker article claims "African tribesmen" shrunk heads. Does anyone know if that is accurate? I was under the impression it was only practised in South America. Sandman303 11:06, 21 October 2006 (UTC)

Trade in shrunken heads[edit]

On September 1st, 2006 user added the following: [dubious — see talk page] in the "Trade in shrunken heads" section. I don't see anything here.

When Europeans first settled in New Zealand in the early 1800's, shrunken heads became a popular trade item. The heads were sourced from the frequent inter-tribal wars and the resulting captured slaves. Someone may wish to add something about this to the article? --3atc3 (talk) 04:44, 1 September 2011 (UTC)

Largest Collection[edit]

The statement about the largest collection of shrunken heads being in Seattle would seem to be disputed by the following BBC article which states that a Museum in Oxford UK has 10 heads. . Should this statement be amended (is the Seattle collection the largest in the USA perhaps?)

I too read this article and thought that the oxford one had more. there needs to be some kind of evidence to say which one is correct, or at least state wether it is the largest in th US. 10:21, 24 May 2007 (UTC)

Issue 230 of Fortean Times has an article about shrunken heads which says that the Ripley's Believe It or Not! museums has the largest collection with 112 examples. These are scattered amongst all of the museums; there is at least one example in each. --TrogWoolley (talk) 21:18, 20 November 2007 (UTC)

Bad Flow[edit]

smelly feat around the world - each having their own relevant terminology, of course. This article in its "Why It Was Done" section actually lists three native terms for spirits. What culure's language/terms are these? Maybe this should be merged with the "Headhunting" article. However, it could still be a mess if these terms are not identified or associated with their respective tribe or culture. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:18, 8 September 2007 (UTC)


"At first, cultural restrictions meant that deaths from traditional conflict were relatively rare." - What are "traditional conflicts", and why wouldn't they result in deaths as other conflicts do? The section where this appears needs a total rewrite. Fuzzform (talk) 06:14, 16 April 2008 (UTC)

Replica shrunken heads, due to their provocative nature, are also popular in the hot rod culture, where they are often seen hanging from rear-view mirrors as ornaments.[citation needed]

I have seen this mainly in tiki themed hot rods/so cal (not as common). And I've seen many Filipino americans with replica shrunken heads as rear view mirror hanging decorations. The Philippines had head hunters, tribes that crafted shrunken heads supposedly and it's part of their proud heritage.

Fact Check[edit]

The article mentions "Mandibular Prognathism" as a characteristic of shrunken heads, but all of the pictures look "Retrognathic" to me. I think the editor may have meant "Maxillary Prognathism", however, I am no expert on shrunken heads. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Adamlankford (talkcontribs) 00:04, 5 October 2009 (UTC)

According to what I read today at the Pitt Rivers Museum (Oxford) the skin was not boiled as this would have resulted in hair loss; it was heated in water for up to two hours. The text should be corrected. Fred (talk) 18:18, 13 December 2009 (UTC)

The only people who are the makers of the shrunken heads are the Shuar and other Amazon Natives.[edit]

Guys understand this clearly, the only people who are the makers of the shrunken heads are the Shuar and the other natives that live in the Amazon rainforest in Ecuador and Perú.

Understood? Sorry for my bad English, that's beacause I'm from Ecuador.

Read this extract from the "National Geographic's SEARCH FOR THE AMAZON HEADSHRINKERS" Documental:

Headhunting occurred in many regions of the world. But the practice of headshrinking has only ever been recorded in the northwestern region of the Amazon rain forest. [1]

The Lehamsy 23:06, 16 February 2011 (UTC)

Absolute authenticity of human headshrinking[edit]

I have heard people deny that any tribe anywhere shrinks human heads, claiming that the specimens displayed in museums are in fact monkey heads or other forgeries, manufactured to play along to the need to believe in 'savage practices' by the 'next tribe' (but not by them, of course). (The same people often denied the practice of cannibalism before the UN's 2003 report.) However, I believe that DNA analysis very recently (2010 or 2011) has proven that at least some shrunken heads from South America are genuinely human. The article should make this clear, with a reference to the proof.

--Wally Tharg (talk) 22:48, 30 August 2011 (UTC)

{{collapse top}Off topic chat}} Live head shrinking.

Is there a way to shrink one's head while alive? My head is too big. (talk) 18:25, 28 May 2014 (UTC)


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