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The Dahomey’s Yearly Head Business
« on: September 21, 2014, 07:03:43 PM »
Headhunting has historically occurred in nearly every part of the world. But few cultures ascribe such value to heads as the Dahomey people, who lived in modern-day Benin. Kings, such as Gezo (who ruled from 1818 to 1858), maintained vast collections of enemy heads as a display of their royal power.

When Scottish explorer John Duncan visited the Dahomey, he reported that Gezo had a collection of 2,000–3,000 heads. Those of importance were decorated with brass and iron rivets, wrapped in fabric and kept in pans. Duncan claimed that the owner and history of each head was carefully maintained. The skulls were also used in architecture. Gezo’s throne, which is currently being kept on display in a museum, was mounted on the skulls of enemy kings.

The King of Dahomey was not limited to merely taking the heads of rivals. He was allowed to decapitate anyone he wished, including his own subjects. This was important for ceremonies and festivals including the huetanu (“yearly head business”). -- http://listverse.com/2014/

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