Science: Head-Hunting Amenities

Collecting human heads in Brazil has its little amenities and points of courtesy, Matthew Williams Stirling, Smithsonian ethnologist, told Washington's Anthropological Society last week. He spent eight weeks with the head-hunting Jivaros, "a simple, rather kindly people," who notify their enemies of intended raids. The "victims" at once dig pitfalls and set trap guns along forest paths, post watchdogs around their tribal house, hide indoors with their women and children until the attack begins.

On a propitious night the attackers assemble all their men and boys over 7 and proceed in single file,...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!