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Thompson, C. (1940). Applied: H. S. Darlington. 'The Meaning of Head Hunting: An Analysis of a Savage Practice and Its Relationship to Paranoia.' Psychoanalytic Review, 1939, Vol. XXVI, No. 1, pp. 55–68.. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 21:99.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Applied: H. S. Darlington. 'The Meaning of Head Hunting: An Analysis of a Savage Practice and Its Relationship to Paranoia.' Psychoanalytic Review, 1939, Vol. XXVI, No. 1, pp. 55–68.

(1940). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 21:99

Applied: H. S. Darlington. 'The Meaning of Head Hunting: An Analysis of a Savage Practice and Its Relationship to Paranoia.' Psychoanalytic Review, 1939, Vol. XXVI, No. 1, pp. 55–68.

Clara Thompson

A description of the customs of the head hunters of Northern Assam is given, with psycho-analytical interpretations in terms of sexual symbolism. The head of the enemy is symbolically a soul which insures the fertility of the fields and the woman. The ceremony of placing the head against the headtree in the centre of the village reproduces the act of coitus, and, at the same time, expresses identification with the father—the headtree, etc. All of the villages in the region live in a state of suspicion of each other. This is based on the real persecution which goes on. Each community hopes, by acquiring heads from the other communities, to take into itself all the values and power of the others. The mechanism is similar to that of paranoia.

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Article Citation

Thompson, C. (1940). Applied. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 21:99

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