A Native among the Headhunters

in The Skull Collectors

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print October 2010 | ISBN: 9780226233482
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226233499 | DOI:
A Native among the Headhunters

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This chapter examines the life of Samuel George Morton and his skull collection. It suggests that a trace of ancient practices appears in Morton's modern world, particularly that to collect and display the dead humiliated defeated enemies. The chapter discusses Morton's family background and the beginning of his scientific career by studying medicine, and also describes his skull collection, which includes representatives of the Caucasian, the Mongol, the Malay, the Ethiopian, and the American races. It furthermore considers why Morton's own skull was not included in any collection or museum.

Keywords: Samuel George Morton; skull collection; ancient practices; scientific career; medicine; skulls

Chapter.  11191 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of the Americas

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