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Native American Myths and Monsters
Monster Mondays - Dolichocephaloids 
2nd-Mar-2009 07:27 pm

Todays Monster Monday from Dapper Cadaver travels down the spine of the Americas to Peru, circa 2000 years ago for a kind of person bizarre and real, the Dolichocephaloids or Peruvian Coneheads. There is currently a video going around getting a lot of attention saying they were found in Siberia. This video is wrong, they are from Peru.

What we do know about the Dolichocephaloids is limited, what we believe about them is vast, and what we don't know about them is enormous.

What we do know - These guys had really long squash shaped heads. They were human. They lived in Peru roughly 2000 years ago. There were a lot of them.

Most had brains the same size as other humans (1400-1600cc) others had larger brains, up to 2000cc or 2 liters. If you want to experience how much larger that is get a human skull and fill the brain case up with soda. Empty a whole 2 liter bottle. Whatever spills on your desk is how much bigger their brains are then ours.

More info, theories, and photos after the jump
28th-Apr-2009 03:28 am (UTC) - reasons for crainial modification
I'm not sure how many of you are interested, but these ancient Inca actually modified their skulls for several reasons. (1)for beauty and (2) as a means of identifying which clan/region you were from. It is rumored that when the Spanish first encountered the Inca and inquired as to the reason behind this modification-- they answered simply "so our hats will fit!"

If you think about it-- this modification is not all that different from our own cranial modifications that American's habitually undergo today. Mainly: braces. Why do we want our teeth so straight? Is this for beauty or to ensure that our teeth will be healthier? Most of us do it because society has instilled in us that straight teeth are proffered to crooked teeth. Therefore, braces (for the most part) are worn for cosmetic purposes.

Cranial modification took place when the person was still only a few weeks old. The younger, the better-- because the human cranium is still soft enough to contort. Although I have no data to confirm this-- I've heard in several lectures that cranial modification did lead to infant mortality. But I doubt it was a very high rate, otherwise these ancients would not have been participating in the ritual in the first place.

It's actually a very interesting bit of history.
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