Shrunken Head

  • Posted: 5/24/12
  • Category: Travel

Yep, it’s a real one.

I grew up in Memphis and not far from where we lived was The Pink Palace. On bicycle, it was five or ten minutes away, depending on shortcuts and ditch (rain!) conditions.

Originally built as someone’s home, they ran out of money – Oops! – and The Pink Palace, so named for the color of stone in the exterior, ended up in the city’s hands.

The city converted it to house several things including an amateur theater – now Theater Memphis but relocated elsewhere, meeting rooms for various scout (boys, girls, eagles, etc.) and civic organizations, a planetarium and, for most of the building, a museum.

There was the stuffed big game room, the rock and mineral room, the “ladies fashions through the ages” room and so forth.

And while some of the exhibits held a young boy’s interest for no more than a glance, stashed away in a glass case in the unlikely Civil War room was this unique item, the head of some Amazon jungle warrior’s enemy, shrunk to about 3-4" wide and 5" tall.

In its display case, the head was accompanied by a 3-5 size card detailing the procedure for shrinkage which, having read it many times on numerous visits and committed it to memory, I know but will spare you the grisly recitation. Suffice to say that the first step is removing all the “contents” – er, that’s after killing and beheading your future artifact, of course.

As the museum’s collection grew and the original building aged, the city eventually built a new structure and moved everything. The old building now houses the museum offices, not open to the public.

But I am told by knowing residents that the shrunken head is on display in the new museum. Is it still next to that Army of the South officer’s Civil War uniform, I wonder?

History began in 2023. Fiction and non-fiction publications are included as well as (blog) posts and supplemental materials from (2004-present).

Comments submitted on individual pages are subject to approval. General suggestions may be sent via the Contact page.

© Copyright 2024 by E D Skinner, All rights reserved