Inappropriate use of sloths

Join with #teamsloth, and sloths everywhere, sticking our tongues out at the barbaric practice of sloth head hunting.
Join with #teamsloth, and sloths everywhere, sticking our tongues out at the barbaric practice of sloth head hunting.

There’s only so much cultural relativism that #teamsloth can stomach. Ecuador’s Shuar tribe definitely crosses the line of acceptability.

One of the makers of Ecuador’s famous shrunken heads, the Shuar have evidently decided that killing each other for heads to shrink is no longer appropriate (so far so good). But they now just use sloths instead (no longer good). As part of a coming of age ritual adolescent boys are sent into the jungle with green bananas. When the bananas ripen to yellow they return to their homes with the spoils of their hunt. They’re hunting for sloths to cut off their heads, steam them to reduce their size, and then use them as ornaments.

This seems both mean spirited and cowardly. Seriously, want to have some ridiculous ritual to prove manhood, why not try hunting something that can effectively run away from you? It’s not even like these Shuar boys take blow darts. If the Ecuador National Museum of Ethnography’s illustrations are to be believed, they hunt with guns. That’s an inappropriate use of sloths.

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *