The Madeleine Brand Show for December 21, 2011

Say hello to my little friend: Exploring the craze for shrunken heads

An Ecuadorian shrunken human head from t

SHAUN CURRY/AFP/Getty Images

An Ecuadorian shrunken human head from the Peruvian jungle in south America is displayed at the 'Ripley's Believe It or Not' museum, in central London,on August 21, 2008. Famous for being weird, strange and bizarre, the new attraction opened on August 20, 2008. AFP PHOTO/Shaun Curry (Photo credit should read SHAUN CURRY/AFP/Getty Images)

Author Mary Roach has become known for writing about fascinating and bizarre topics, from cadavers to life on Mars. Her latest piece, "Say Hello to My Little Friend," explores the history of shrunken heads, from the Ecuadorian tribe that created them for ceremonial purposes, to the huge trade in counterfeit heads that grew up in the early 20th century. Roach even shares her "recipe" for shrinking the head of a bobcat. The story appears in the current issue of Outside magazine.

Guest:

Mary Roach, author of "Say Hello to My Little Friend," an article on shrunken heads in the current issue of Outside magazine.


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