Thursday, October 27, 2011

Halloween Countdown: Skulls

Halloween looms! I'll try to do a pic-post each day leading up to it, focusing on a suitably macabre subject. Today's exhibition of skulls!

If anyone investigating the mysterious ancestal magic of Chirak ever wondered what the decorative fetishes of these magicians look like, the answer is here (and found by way of Geek Art Gallery --though to be fair, not sure I would call this geek art so much as cultural art).

There's a long-standing tradition of skull decoration through Meso- and South- American traditions. Some truly elaborate skulls decorated in turqouoise reflect a long-standing tradition which finds modern expression the Day of the Dead and other venues, such as the skull above.

And let's not forget the Mayan elite tradition of binding infant skulls to insure a unique shape in adulthood, regarded as a sign of beauty in their time:

Modern art continues this tradition in many ways:

You know, there are a lot of things you can search for in google that lead to terrifying, mind searing discoveries...ironically, skulls are not one of them; you pretty much get what you would expect on such a search.


  1. Hi! Where did you find the second and fourth photos you posted here? I am researching Maya trophy skulls and have never seen those two. I'd like to figure out what museum they are in. Thanks!

    1. Hello! I dredged most of these up from lengthy searches on google, but here's the sources on #2 and #4:

      On #2 it's a random flickr image, and unfortunately not very helpful in identifying the source.

      On #4 it suggests a Mixtec origin from "Shell Hill" but the site offers no identification on the source/location of the skull beyond that, unfortunately.

      Good luck with your research, I'd love to read your work when its done.