Micronesia – Shrunken Head – Good Luck Charms from Around the World

As we live our lives, we constantly look for ways of turning life in our favour.  In the hope that we can influence fate, we look for a talisman to help us.  Random objects are used to influence our luck.  Here we look at the lucky charm of Micronesia.

Micronesia – Shrunken Head

The Federated States of Micronesia is a group of islands with an incredibly diverse population.  The name of the country comes from Greek and means small island – which isn’t exactly true because the federation is a group of thousands of islands in the eastern Pacific Ocean.  There are still ancient tribes living traditionally on the islands.  The tribes are reliant on the sea for food and livelihood.  The shrunken head is a part of the culture of these tribes and is considered good luck.  Fortunately, the practice of making these shrunken heads has been prohibited for years. 

History of the lucky charm of Shrunken Heads

Real shrunken heads are still sought after on Micronesia.  However, you are more likely to find ornamental heads today.  The heads are a symbol of loved ones who have died, and they kept as a memory of this loved one and as a means of encouraging good luck.  Historically, when the family died, the skull would literally shrink it and then hand it in the entranceway of the home.  This would then act as a symbol to protect them.

Why the shrunken head charm is bringing luck

The shrunken head is believed to be the spirit of a loved one hanging in the home.  Therefore, once the loved one has died and passed to the afterlife, they are able to offer protection to those left behind.  People believe they are good luck and often ask them for help when they are finding life hard.

How to use the shrunken head charm

Traditionally, if you want a shrunken head to bring you luck, you need to hang them in the entranceway to your home.  The idea is that the person in the afterlife would watch over you as you left the home. The head of loved ones is ultimately thought to ward off evil spirits.

How the shrunken head charm is made

Creating a real shrunken head is a little gruesome.  It involves removing the skull from the neck. The lips are sewn together and a ball is placed inside to keep the skill head shaped as it is boiled.  It is then dried out and decorated.

How to make the Shrunken Head charm at home

The appropriate answer to this question is – don’t.  To make a real shrunken head lucky charm is illegal.  Consequently, the best way to get the luck is to buy an ornamental head from one of the island’s stores.

Interesting and fun facts about XXX charm

To keep the shape of the nostrils, seeds are placed into the holes as it is being boiled.