Global Art & Artifacts

Custom Made Replica of an Authentic Human Shrunken Head / Tsantsa. Javaro. Ecuador

Click the photo above for a larger version and more pictures

 I am not going to get into the process of shrinking a human head but it is worthy to note that preparing shrunken heads has religious significance.  For the Jivaroan People (and others), this act was meant to control the avenging spirit of the victim and compel him to serve the “shrinker”.  When the head was severed and shrunk, the avenging would stop.

This shrunken head was hand made by an indigenous artist from the Manabi Province of Ecuador.

He has been making these replicas for my agent since the 1990s.  The heads are made from shaved and modeled goat skin and prepared in much the same way as the authentic heads.  The wood, the jute, the feathers, the hair are all products acquired from local sources. 

An important point here is that original tsantsas are extremely rare because of the aging and – of course – mass deterioration.  The artisan and my agent provide replicas to museums and motion picture companies because these pieces of art provide the best representation of the original heads.

I recently commissioned the artist to make a head for EsotericStuff based on my research and having one created that resembles a rare 1935 tsantsa with lip skewers, neck coil of wooden vine, plant fibers used on the lip skewers and the squinting eyes that were part of the authentic tsantsa.  Simple but authentic in design.

For the Serious Collector.  Stands not included.  A jute string is provided for hanging from above.  See other shrunken heads on the site.

Sorry, this head has been sold.  Please see others on the site.


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