A study of the identification and authenticity of three trophy heads



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Arráez Aybar, Luis Alfonso and Arroyo Pardo, Eduardo and Minaya Bernedo, Angel and Fuentes Redondo, Talía and Carvalho De Moraes, Luís Otávio and Mérida Velasco, José Ramón (2021) A study of the identification and authenticity of three trophy heads. Romanian Journal of Legal Medicine., 29 . pp. 81-90. ISSN 1221-8618

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Official URL: http://www.rjlm.ro/index.php/arhiv/860


Abstract: Trophy heads are human heads that have been removed from the rest of the body at the time of death
or later. They present varied elaborations, to a greater or lesser degree: Basically the skull can be preserved (skull trophy) or not (shrunken head). We present here a morphological study that allows us to study the authenticity and possible cultural background of three trophy-heads belonging to the Complutense University’s patrimony (Madrid, Spain) and rediscovered by serendipity. The aim/goal of this paper is twofold. First, study and identify of these trophy heads. Second, to assess their authenticity.
We conclude that two out of the three heads are shrunken heads, suggesting that their objective/goal was different
and that can be clearly distinguished from the false or commercial shrunken heads, that emerged mainly in the nineteenth century. Also, their morphological and ornamental characteristics indicate that one is authentic or ceremonial tsantsa and the other is commercial. The other head was a skull trophy with the ornamental decorative features compatible to a trophy head by the Mundurucu tribe.
Keywords: Anthropology, authenticity evaluation, ceremonial tsantsa, commercial shrunken head, ethnobotany.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Anthropology, authenticity evaluation, ceremonial tsantsa, commercial shrunken head, ethnobotany
Subjects:Medical sciences > Medicine > Anatomy
Medical sciences > Medicine > Medical genetics
Medical sciences > Medicine > Medical jurisprudence
Medical sciences > Medicine > Medicine history
Medical sciences > Biology > Biological anthropology
Medical sciences > Pharmacy > Botany
Humanities > Geography > Human geography
Humanities > History > History of America
Humanities > History > Museums
ID Code:72964
Deposited On:29 Jun 2022 10:38
Last Modified:29 Jun 2022 10:38

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