Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Shrunken Heads Are For Real

May got off to such a promising start. Traveling off the grid put us in strange states where the ghost of Howard Hughes danced on the wing of The Spruce Goose to a lopsided Mexican shuffle played by a laughing band of weirdos. And on a hot Saturday morning, Typing Monkey publisher S.L. Kreighton left a bit of himself in a hotel parking lot. We were all so frightened and entertained.

Never mind. We merge back onto the information superhighway's increasingly neglected backroads in order to bring you this piece about scientists analyzing the DNA of an alleged shrunken head, proving that said noggin is no longer alleged. It's an actual human head that's been shrunk.

As if we ever doubted it. For the time-strapped, here's a quotation from Gila Kahila Bar-Gal, one of the scientists who conducted the DNA examination:

"'During spiritual ceremonies, enemies' heads were carefully reduced through boiling and heating, in the attempt to lock the enemy's spirit and protect the killers from spiritual revenge.'"

[Photo is not the head they tested, but one kept in the Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford. Photo by Narayan k28, via WikiCommons.]