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IPFS News Link • Archaeology

Enigmatic cult of the Long Skulls

• arclein

Cranial deformation is a distinct and painful tradition. The objective of cranial deformation is to elongate the shape of the head. This procedure, once performed, cannot be reversed. More importantly, individuals who have had the procedure performed, unlike circumcision, cannot conceal it. It is a permanent visible marker that identifies not only a cultural group but also select individuals within that society. When a child is born, the infant's head is fashioned or molded into a unique long and slender shape. The simplest method a caregiver employed was to put pressure on, or gently massage, the child's head daily until the desired shape was achieved. The second method constrained the child's head in a mechanical device, which, over time, would produce the desired elongated shape. Head modifications were always performed during infancy, when the cranial bones were still tender and pliable and the sutures between the cranial bones are unfixed. This allowed shaping or reshaping t