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How to Make a Shrunken Head

Have you ever had a chance to visit The Museum of the Weird? I mean, this is the website for the Austin, TX attraction so if you made it this far, maybe it’s time to plan for a trip. Amongst all our two-headed animals, mummies, haunted skeletons, and oddities of man and nature, we’ve got two genuine shrunken heads on display. And they are indeed a creepy sight to behold.

Head shrinking (not the psychology kind) has been rumored to take place in many places all over the world but so far is only confirmed with a few small tribes in Peru and Ecuador, called there tsantsa. The tribes created them to keep vengeful spirits from being born from their enemies. They also served as a pretty powerful deterrent to other outsiders wandering close to the village. Of course, when it turned out that visiting Westerners had an interest in trading for the heads, the murder rate suddenly went up rather significantly in the region. But what’s the process these grotesqueries are made by?

Check out this great post at They get down to the specifics step-by-step, from decapitation to the stripping of the flesh, the boiling of the remains, to …okay, now even I’m getting a little nauseous. But check it out for yourself. That’s the internet for ya. We’ve even got lifehacks for shrinking human heads. What an age we live in.

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