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Phrenological head of Brazilian tribesman, Edinburgh, Scotland, 1826
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Phrenological head of Brazilian tribesman, Edinburgh, Scotland, 1826, result 1 of 1

Item Details
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Title
Phrenological head of Brazilian tribesman, Edinburgh, Scotland, 1826
Plaster cast of the head of a member of the Brazilian Botocudos
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Work Type
Psychology, Psychiatry & Anthropometry
Date
1826
Location
Edinburgh
Measurements
overall: 380 mm x 190 mm x 210 mm,
Description
Plaster cast of the head of a member of the Brazilian Botocudos tribe, probably for phrenological use, by O'Neil, Edinburgh, 1826.
Phrenology argued reading bumps and lumps of the skull, and therefore the brain, gave clues about a person"s personality and character. Phrenology was founded by Francis Gall (1758-1828). This is a plaster cast of an indigenous man from the Botocudos people of Brazil. Phrenological heads were often cast from society figures, criminals and indigenous peoples. People carrying out consultations used them as reference guides. It was made in Edinburgh on April 23 1826 by phrenological head maker O"Neil. He had published a catalogue in 1823 of phrenological heads for sale. This was three years after the Phrenological Society was founded in Edinburgh in 1820. This cast displays the lip and lobe "plugs" worn by the Botocudos people. Victorians may have thought this both "savage" and "exotic". The cast was likely presented as evidence of the supposed "superiority" of the European race.
Phrenology became popular in the 1800s. However, it became controversial within medical circles. It was eventually dismissed by the medical profession as quackery. Phrenology was still studied in the UK until the British Phrenological Society closed in 1967.
Plaster cast of the head of a member of the Brazilian Botocudos tribe, probably for phrenological use, by O'Neil, Edinburgh, 1826.
Plaster cast of the head of a member of the Brazilian Botocudos tribe, probably for phrenological use, by O'Neil, Edinburgh, 1826.
Accession Number
ID Number
co134260
Source
Image and original data from Science Museum Group
Rights
The source metadata displayed in the Description field is released under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license.
All other source metadata is released under Creative Commons Zero.
File Properties
File Name
large_A32960.jpg
SSID
26319838

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