News-Antique.com - Aug 16,2009 - August 16, 2009 -- Warfare and collecting have many faces. Among some Pre-Columbian Amazonian tribes the practice of decapitating an enemy’s head and then shrinking it was a common ritual.
The custom was outlawed in the early-20th century when the church and military persuaded the tribes to stop. But, the demand continued.
When enemies were killed in battle their heads were shrunk in an elaborate ritual. The Jivaro clan lived in the Ecuadorian and Peruvian Amazon. For these people, the practice of obtaining and preparing shrunken heads was a religious experience.
It was spiritual renewal as well as a way to avenge and punish adversaries.
Trophies date back thousands of years and may very well have evolved from human ones.
On June 6, New Orleans Auction Galleries, New Orleans, La., featured a non-ceremonial upper Amazonian shrunken head in its auction. The genuine shrunken head preserved in the traditional manner sold in the auction for $11,700.
According to a specialist in the field of forensic anthropology, the head is that of a young girl made for sale or trade. The head came from the collection of Prof. Hubert C. Skinner.
Read the entire article at www.LiveAuctionTalk.com.