Showing posts with label tsantsas. Show all posts
Showing posts with label tsantsas. Show all posts

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Shrunken heads

Late Night with David Letterman re-aired the 10-29-08 interview with Barack Obama last night. Toward the end of the show (6:40 on this video), Obama mentions his first visit to Chicago at the age of 10. He went to the Field Museum of Natural History and was fascinated--as most 10-year-old boys would be, he says--with the shrunken heads. Some of us remain fascinated, although the Field Museum has since taken those specimens off display. Jim Castner has written the definitive book on the trophies (better known as tsantsas) and a suspense novel with a shrunken head theme that I reviewed. Bill Jamieson is a collector, museum proprietor, and ethnologist, and offers a slideshow on his website. I've been in contact with Bill and Jim over the years, so I am going to ask if the tsantsa pictured (see credit) was in fact curated by the Field Museum and would have been seen by a boy Barack.

HALLOWEEN-Click for captions