Researching shrunken heads or tsantsa for this week’s comic gave me the creeps. Tiny heads are way less cute than you might imagine. The process is rather gruesome from acquiring the head in the first place to removing the skull and placing seeds under the eyes, boiling, sewing, etc. If you want more information on the process, beliefs (ie: trapping the enemies spirit), history or images, check out: Head-Hunter.com.
At the time of writing this, I’m preparing to leave for a road trip to St. Augustine (by the time this posts I’ll be arriving home). Jim and I are escaping for just a couple days to celebrate his birthday. As I was researching for the comic, I was surprised to find that St. Augustine’s Lightner museum actually houses the authentic shrunken head pictured here:
I’m not sure if I’ll get to see this fellow in person on my trip to St. Augustine. The Lightner looks interesting but Jim’s got his heart set on visiting Ripley’s Believe it or Not! museum and honestly that looks like more fun to me as well.
The topic of shrunken heads took me back to my childhood. I have a vague memory of a collection of shrunken heads in my brother’s bedroom. They fascinated me and while I knew they were made of apples, they seemed transformed into mysterious little people. I’m pretty sure he used that old Vincent Price Shrunken head sculpture kit. How awesome is this?
You don’t need a special kit to make your very own shrunken (apple) heads. All you need is an apple, knife, lemon, salt, water and time. Here are some tutorials in case you want to give it a whirl.
They look something like this:
Rather than something like this:
If the authentic heads are more your speed, rather than use a real head, perhaps you should consider a replica which are generally made out of goat skin and look like the real thing without the mess of murder.
Maybe I should make some polymer shrunken head sculptures for vegan shrunken head enthusiasts! (i’m only half kidding)
Speaking of making stuff, here’s the polymer cuff bracelet I made for Jim for his birthday. It’s adorned with pen and ink amoebas.
I’m working on another for some upcoming art/handmade shows. I also have this awesome sock monkey cuff for sale in my etsy store.
ps: i’m getting ready for Holizaar Deux – mark your calendars