Authentic shrunken heads are hard to come by, and in some places illegal. This is the real deal, though, and you'll get around $5,800 for it.



  • Fact 1: The practice of head shrinking originated in the Jivaroan tribes of the northwestern Amazon as part of a revenge ritual.
  • Fact 2: A shrunken head, or tzantza, is created by removing the skull and fat from a head, boiling it, and drying it with hot stones.
  • Fact 3: Shrunken heads were usually rubbed with ash to prevent the "muisak", or vengeful spirit, of the head's original owner from escaping.
  • Fact 4: Shrunken heads were rare in Amazon tribes until western explorers began sending them home as curiosities; the term "headhunter" first referred to a tribesman who collected and sold heads to outsiders.
  • Fact 5: The popularity of shrunken heads in the late 19th century led to countless counterfeits, often made from monkey or sloth heads or even stitched from leather.

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