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“Tsantsa” Linocut


Tzantza, or more commonly known as the shrunken head.

They were made by Shuar, Achuar, Awajún/Aguaruna indigenous groups of Ecuador and Peru until the mid 20th century. Ceremonial Tsantsas are both human remains and valuable cultural items. Typically taught by a father to their son. Manufactured from the skin of enemies slain in combat, and believed to have contained the spirit of the victim and their knowledge. They also represented a source of personal power for the owner. However the demand for them overwhelmed the supply which led to inauthentic commercialized productions dedicated as exports for the Euro-colonial markets. Due to colonization of Amazonian groups to larger regional states led for the practice to be ceased.

Printed on handmade Nepalese Lokta paper. Measures 8” x 7”

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