Shrunken Heads: How To

Learn how to make a shrunken head with these step by step directions!

The Shuar Tribe of Ecuador are pros at creating trophies from the skins of their enemies.


Do you want to collect trophies of your conquests? Perhaps gain the soul of your victim, which will enable you to control the labor of the women in your lives? Then this crash course from the Shuar tribe is for you!

Shrunken Head Selfie
Shrunken Head Selfie

Step 1: Kill your enemy…but watch the face!

Step 2: Cut off your enemy’s head.



Step 3:  Remove the skull from the skin. Take care not to tear the skin when you pull it from the skull.

Step 4: Carefully boil the head skin in a mix of secret Shuar herbs and spices for about 1.5-2 hours. This will shrink the skin and hair to about 1/3 of its size.

Step 5: Sew the enemy’s mouth shut to keep the soul (muisak) from escaping. Remember, a shrunken head without a trapped soul is merely a toy.

Step 6: Place hot stones through the neck opening to sear the inside and complete the shrinking process.

Step 7: Cut a hole in the top of the head in order to tie a string through it. Wear around your neck and enjoy the looks of pride and envy!


-Before you begin the process of shrinking the head, make sure you are safely out of enemy territory so that you can work in peace.

-It would be considerate of you to throw the unneeded skull in the river as a gift to the pani, or anaconda.

– Don’t leave the head in the pot for too long, or else you may simmer off the hair.

– When placing the hot rocks inside the skin bag, make sure to rotate them regularly so as to not burn through the skin. For best results, add hot sand to crevices like nose holes and ear holes to ensure total sealing and shrinking.

-Be patient! Don’t rush through the process. You want the head to maintain as much of a semblance to the living victim as possible.




by Rebecca Bellan