Artificial Cranial DeformationADDPMP710
Deformation typically begins a month after birth, as the skull is most pliable at this time, and continues for about six months until the desired shape has been achieved.
Intentional cranial deformation predates written history and was practised commonly in a number of cultures wi- dely separated geographically and chronologically: Huns, Ostrogoths, Maya, Ancient Egyptians and Mangbetu for example. It still occurs today in some parts of the world, including in Vanuatu.
One modern theory is cranial deformation was likely performed to signify group affiliation or to demonstrate so- cial status. Such motivations may have played a key role in Mayan society, aimed at creating a skull shape that is aesthetically more pleasing or associated with desirable cultural attributes. It has also been considered possible that the practice of cranial deformation originates from an attempt to emulate those groups of the population in which elongated head shape was a natural condition. To date, there is no statistically significant difference in cranial capacity between artificially deformed skulls and normal skulls.