Smaller Than Life: The Lure and Lore of Amazonian Shrunken Heads

Shrunken heads of the Amazon might sound like the title of a '50s B-movie set in the jungle, but the bizarre artifacts do indeed have a basis in reality. Anthropologist Dr. John Verano, who has examined actual heads (with gloves, no doubt), will talk about the tiny noggins in his lecture Smaller Than Life: The Lure and Lore of Amazonian Shrunken Heads. According to Amy Potts of the Houston Museum of Natural Science, a shrunken head - made by the Jivaro Indians of Peru and Ecuador - was presented to Western scientists for the first time in 1862 and generated a lot of interest...and drive for profit. "They were so rare, enterprising artifact traders began making replicas to satisfy demand," she continues. "Some were actual human heads that had been stolen and clandestinely prepared. Others were made from monkey heads." 6:30 p.m. One Hermann Circle Drive. For information, call 713-639-4629 or visit $12 to $17.
Mon., Dec. 14, 6:30 p.m., 2009
KEEP THE HOUSTON PRESS FREE... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Bob Ruggiero has been writing about music, books, visual arts and entertainment for the Houston Press since 1997, with an emphasis on classic rock. He used to have an incredible and luxurious mullet in college as well. He is the author of the band biography Slippin’ Out of Darkness: The Story of WAR.
Contact: Bob Ruggiero