SAVAGE KILLERS! Meet The Jivaro Indians Who Engage In The Practice Of Shrinking Their Enemies Heads • illuminaija
illuminaija

SAVAGE KILLERS! Meet The Jivaro Indians Who Engage In The Practice Of Shrinking Their Enemies Heads

SAVAGE KILLERS! Meet The Jivaro Indians Who Engage In The Practice Of Shrinking Their Enemies Heads

All over human history, there is the common act of removing an adversary or opponent’s head after killing him in battle, to serve as a trophy symbolizing victory, and it’s common in almost every tribe of the world.


However, the Jivaro Indian hunters took decapacitation to another level. They had a unique technique of shrinking the heads of their fallen enemies. They believed it prevented the spirits of these adversaries from coming back to take revenge.

The practice is exclusive to the Jivaro Indians residing in Ecuador, close to Peruvian Amazon. They are known for their almost scary acts of revenge and violence.

SAVAGE KILLERS! Meet The Jivaro Indians Who Engage In The Practice Of Shrinking Their Enemies Heads

They once poured molten gold down the governor of Logrono’s throat to symbolize an act of retribution for the governor’s unpleasant tax on gold. The violence of the Jivaro was so gruesome that even till this day, their name remains a Spanish word, meaning “Savage.”

The Jivaro were very seasoned warriors as a result of constant inter-tribal wars they fought among each other. Their military tradition and philosophy were also unique.

While wars elsewhere were fought for power and territory, for the Jivaro war was all about vengeance — they called it blood revenge. If a relative was killed and wasn’t avenged, the Jivaro feared that their kin’s spirit would be angry and bring bad luck to the tribe.

But killing their enemies wasn’t enough — the Jivaro needed proof that their ancestors had been avenged. And what better proof that coming back to camp with the heads of their fallen enemies.

Decapitation was such an important part of the Jivaro way of life that a raid on an enemy village would be considered a huge disappointment if no heads were recovered, even though many enemies might have been killed in the battle.

To prevent the fallen enemies from attempting revenge, the Jivaro would shrink their heads and sometimes, they wore the shrunken heads as necklaces. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.