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HomeContentsOnline exhibitions > Portrait: Parts of body: Skull

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Parts of body
Curated by
Alan Griffiths
I may instance the usages of the natives of the Torres Straits. Here the corpse is first laid upon a horizontal frame sustained by posts at the corners. The moisture is pressed out, and then after a long time, when the bone is everywhere exposed, the head is detached, and the rest buried or thrown into the sea, after which some funeral feasts ensue. The important part of the ceremony consists in the solemn delivery of the skull to the survivors. Sometimes the head is placed at night on the old bed of the deceased, so that he seems to be sleeping with the family as in his lifetime, till at last. the head of the family, or the chief, puts the skull as a pillow under his own head. Thenceforth it is treated with great respect and is given a sort of hutch in which to rest. One such from the Solomon Islands may be seen in the British Museum.
Sabine Baring-Gould A Book of Folk-Lore (1913) Chapter Eight, Skulls 

21st Editions, Bibliothèque Nationale de France - Département des Estampes et de la Photographie, Christopher Wahren Fine Photographs, Edwynn Houk Gallery, Etherton Gallery, Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center at the University of Texas at Austin, Larry Gottheim - Be-hold - Inc, Lee Gallery, Musée de l'Homme, National Museum of Health and Medicine, Neret-Minet Tessier, Paul Frecker, Photoseed, Private collection of Nigel Maister, Provided by the artist - Dominic Rouse, Provided by the artist - Mike Robinson, Provided by the artist - Wayne Martin Belger, Stereographica - Antique Photographica, Universiteitsbibliotheek Utrecht, University of Glasgow - Library.
Parts of the body 


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