SHRUNKEN BODIES

 

Human bodies shrunken after the removal of all the bones by the Jivaro Indians of Tierra Oriente.  Ecuador.  

 

The Museum of American Indian.  Heye Foundation.  New York

 


 

 

 

Two shrunken bodies were on display at the Museum of the American Indian in New York City until 1990.  Acquired in the early '20s, they had been displayed as the handiwork of the Jivaro Indians when actually they were the work of an entrepreneurial Peruvian medical doctor seeking extra money.

 

They were later stored in the museum basement where only proven relatives can view them.  It is unlikely that the identities of the two bodies will ever be known.

 

While living in Equator in the early 1900s' Dr. Gustaye Struve shrunk the bodies after spending time with the Jivaro Indians and learning their art of head shrinking.  With no shortage of unclaimed bodies in a time when malaria and yellow fever were rampant, Dr. Struve had gone into the business of head shrinking to fuel the enterprising demand by tourists, explores, exploiters and collectors who were seeking to purchase these curiosities.

 

 

Shrunken Bodies - shrunkenbodies.com

 

 


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