african masksshrunken heads
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A fine Eastern Pende Panya-Gombe African mask. Coll.: David Norden

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Tsantsas and Shrunken heads 

If you have GENUINE Shrunken Heads with a PROVEN provenance, please send an email to David Norden  Mail

Dear Collectors,

As time went by in the nineteenth century the demand of shrunken heads for the tourist trade, museums and collectors has extremely risen .

But there was a gap between the available ones which where made by the different tribes of the Jivaros. This was due to the high demand and less practice, because of the reach of the civilization and the missionary influence who forbid the practise at all . 

Other tribes - not Jivaros- and Amazon Indians and some other people copied the practise more or less good without the steps of ceremonies and the practice in details and without the religious background!

So there has become different types of shrunken heads and practice in details.

The old traditional way to make a real tsantsa has become less, also for the real Jivaro tribes in general. 

They forgot day by day during the new age some practices , some details of preparations also from one tribe and from one clan to the other where missed !

So of all these reasons there are 3 kinds of real human shrunken heads:

1) The first was the classic style – the very old real tsantsa – which has always been made in the traditional way and called tsantsa as a kind of trophy head – only made by the Jivaros tribes .

real tsantsa schrunken head.jpg (126095 bytes) 

 

With prominent lips, upturned nose, traditional arrangement, lip strings , sometimes wooden pegs , wooden shewers, neck coils , polished skin and eyes are sewn shut tight .

2) The second is in my opinion reported and described by so many serious travelers and collectors, also in books and in their stories- that there exists an outliving form and late type of style also made by Jivaro's but they forgot or did not really know anymore all the kind of detailed preparation and the ritual background and its steps in preparation for example (click on thumbs to enlarge):

outleaving tsantsa1.jpg (86395 bytes)outleaving tsantsa 2.jpg (41065 bytes)

The size, the lip string in the top of the head/ hair, slight lips are prominent not as before as it was in the old type , the face was not polished as it was before , also the nose is not as that much upturned as before , the shut of the eyes only light not intrude as before, the eye hair still intact.

3) The third type was made by other Indians not Jivaro's or people like doctors only for the demand of shrunken human heads for the tourist trade- So only human shrunken heads copied from the other :

They had no lip holes, lips where sewn only with other material, sometimes the lips where sewn shut from inside only , often still the face hair, no suspension cord, mostly a shiny glow that remained on the skin because of the different and less full preparation, other materials often were used than the Jivaro's used to !

All my best regards till soon,

If you have GENUINE Shrunken Heads with a PROVEN provenance, please send an email to David Norden  Mail

related articles: 

Amazonian Tribal Art or Endangered Species?

While secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, Lawrence Small violated federal bird protection regulations when he imported Amazonian tribal art that, unbeknownst to him, contained feathers of endangered birds.

Rain Forest Rebel

In the Amazon, researchers documenting the ways of native peoples join forces with an embattled chief to stop illegal loggers and developers from destroying the earth's most precious wilderness

 

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In this section:
Start
Omhoog
Outside Africa Art antiques
Aboriginal
oriental rugs
Indian-treasures
papoua new guinea
Pacific Sainsbury
precolumbian art
history of native american indians
New-Ireland
endangered species
tribal tattoos
Precolumbian art
shrunken heads
hair styles 

African art books

The Tribal Arts of Africa

The Tribal Arts of Africa
Author: Jean-Baptiste Bacquart

more African Art books I like


read also : Start ] Outside Africa Art antiques ] Aboriginal ] oriental rugs ] Indian-treasures ] papoua new guinea ] Pacific Sainsbury ] precolumbian art ] history of native american indians ] New-Ireland ] endangered species ] tribal tattoos ] Precolumbian art ] [ shrunken heads ] hair styles ]

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