History Of Scalping

Topics: Colonialism, United States, Franks Pages: 1 (287 words) Published: October 14, 2013
A proud british soldier stands in the middle of a bloodthirsty battlefield, and triumphantly Holds up a single flap of skin on the tip of his sword, oozing with blood and tangled with masses of hair. Where did he learn to do that? The origins of scalping dates all the way back in the 5th century B.C., where a nomadic people of Iranian origin scalped their enemies to show off their ultimate power. This was done by grabbing a tuft of hair at the forehead, and cutting/ripping it completely off- skin and all. Since then, it has been a custom to many other people as well, such as the Visigoths, the Franks, and the Anglo-Saxons. Many people, however, associate scalping with the Native americans rivalry with the European colonists (or in some cases, European rivalry with other Europeans). When the colonists came upon America, one of the many things they “learned” from the Indians was how to scalp and enemy’s head. After the English learned this technique, they did a tremendous amount of scalping on the natives and of rival Frenchman. The Europeans had switched to this method because their old custom of cutting people's heads whole, was not as easily transported or preserved. Soon, it became a common practice to slay an enemies scalp and display it as a war prize and trophy. During the Colonial Wars, scalping was fairly common on both sides of the war. Occasionally, during times like the French and Indian War, people would even offer scalps for a price to sell. This morbid tradition of cutting off scalps went on for quite a long time, and it didn’t stop until around the turn of the 20th century.
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