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practice of taking and preserving the head of a slain enemy. It has occurred throughout the world from ancient times into the 20th cent. In Europe, it flourished in the Balkans until the early 20th cent. The practice often has magico-religious motives. Head-hunting tribes usually believe that there is soul matter concentrated in the head; taking the head of an enemy not only adds to the totality of soul matter in one's community, it also weakens the power of the enemy. As a particularly gruesome symbol of victory, such trophies may also intimidate enemies and potential enemies. In addition, heads are secured as tokens of courage and manhood. In many societies, young men are allowed to marry only after they have taken their first head, and for each trophy they may wear a distinctive feather or special tattoo. In some parts of the world, notably among the natives of North America, the scalp alone was taken (see scalpingscalping,
taking the scalp of an enemy. The custom, comparable to head-hunting, was formerly practiced in Europe and Asia (Herodotus describes its practice by the Scythians, for example), but it is generally associated with North American natives, although many such groups did
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), and the hair was often used in the making of amulets (see amuletamulet
, object or formula that credulity and superstition have endowed with the power of warding off harmful influences. The use of the amulet to avert danger and to dispel evil has been known in different religions and among diverse peoples.
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). Heads may be mummified in various ways, as in New Guinea, where both skull and skin are preserved, or among the Jívaro of South America, where the skin alone is preserved to produce a so-called shrunken head. An increase in head-hunting and concomitant warfare is often associated with the penetration of Westerners who like to buy and collect these trophies. See also cannibalismcannibalism
[Span. caníbal, referring to the Carib], eating of human flesh by other humans. The charge of cannibalism is a common insult, and it is likely that some alleged cannibal groups have merely been victims of popular fear and misrepresentation.
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See M. Harner, The Jivaro (1972).


1. the practice among certain peoples of removing the heads of slain enemies and preserving them as trophies
2. US slang the destruction or neutralization of political opponents
References in periodicals archive ?
Following the results of 2017, in the total rating of HeadHunter the 1st place went to Sibur, the 2nd place was won by ROSATOM and the 3rd place was given to the American company NVIDIA.
HeadHunter has entered the Belarus, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan markets, launched a Russian Employer Rating, Wage Database, Clickme advertising service, online Vacancy Fair, online Talent Assessment service and Academy e-learning service.
The firm was sued for bypassing a headhunter and refusing to pay the firm for recruiting bankers.
As PBA chair Pato Gregorio announced during the Palawan board meeting, all the nominees for commissioner will be invited to an interview by the headhunter.
Ross builds the Headhunter on a machined aluminum reflex riser that is home to several features.
Based on the novel by Jo Nesbo, Headhunters simmers gently for the opening 30 minutes, establishing the characters and marital tension between Roger and Diana, which leads to one major plot twist.
Like the country's Troll Hunter movie last year, Headhunters is a terrific attempt at making us completely forget that the film is subtitled.
Unknown Number: A headhunter will make sure that any calls made cannot be traced back to them.
On the basis that, if you can't beat them, join them, I want to become a headhunter.
Mr Mulcock, who works for specialist agency sevenhr in Leeds, said using a professional headhunter to find high-calibre executives could cost pounds 45,000.
This book sets out within the context of private sector jobs in the United State s economy, to describe and analyse the role of headhunters (also known as executive recruiters and executive search consultants) in the process of finding people for jobs.
This places the headhunter in a difficult situation with the client and it could harm your chances of being considered for the next perfect job that comes his way.