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HEAD (in 0. Eng. heafad; the word is ...

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Originally appearing in Volume V13, Page 121 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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HEAD (in 0. Eng. heafad; the word is common to Teutonic languages; cf. Dutch hoofd, Ger. Haupt, generally taken to be in origin connected with Lat. caput, Gr. KerbOvi7), the upper portion of the body in man, consisting of the skull with its integuments and contents, &c., connected with the trunk by the neck (see ANATOMY, SKULL and BRAIN); also the anterioror fore part of other animals. The word is used in a large number of transferred and figurative senses, generally with reference to the position of the head as the uppermost part, hence the leading, chief portion of anything. HEAD-HUNTING, or HEAD-SNAPPING, as the Dutch call it, a custom once prevalent among all Malay races and surviving even to-day among the Dyaks (q.v.) of Borneo and elsewhere. Martin de Rada, provincial of the Augustinians, reported its existence in Luzon (Philippine Islands) as early as 1577. The practice is believed to have had its origin in religious motives, the worship of skulls being universal among the Malays. Severe repressive measures have led to its decrease. Among the Igorrotes all that remains is the dance, accompanied by singing, around the bare pole on which the head was formerly fixed. With the Ilongotes a bridegroom must bring his bride a number of heads, those of Christians being preferred. The chief examples of head-hunters are the Was, a hill-tribe on the north-eastern frontier of India, and the Nagas and Kukis of Assam. See Bock, Headhunters of Borneo (1881); W. H. Furness, Home Life of Borneo Head-hunters (Philadelphia, 1902); T. C. Hodson, Head-hunting in Assam," in Folk-Lore, xx. 2. 132.
End of Article: HEAD (in 0. Eng. heafad; the word is common to Teutonic languages; cf. Dutch hoofd, Ger. Haupt, generally taken to be in origin connected with Lat. caput, Gr. KerbOvi7)
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