body modification tool

Skull modification apparatus or head flattener for an infant. It consists of a panel of wood made up of a rectangular centre piece and two projections, one at either end, through which holes are pierced at the ends and at the corners of the central rectangle. It is made of coconut shell, and is decorated with a white dot pattern around the edges. A cushion covered in black fabric is attached to the other side of the rectangular panel.

The wood panel is attached to two fabric bands by plant fibre strings through the holes, and secured at one point with a red bead. The two bands are attached together to form a T-shape, and are printed with different floral patterns - one in a pink and red floral design, the other in a pale green floral and star design. A coin with a hole through its centre is threaded through the strings over the back of the wooden panel. The obverse of the coin has 'C. BROOKE / RAJAH' on it, while the reverse has 'SARAWAK / ONE / CENT / 1896' on it.

The number 194.33 has been marked on the object twice, presumably by Reading Museum.

A rectangular label is connected with the object, with its number and place of provenance written on it. There is also a card typed with information about the object.

Collection Information

These objects are only a part of our collections, of which there are more than 350,000 objects. This information comes from our collections database. Some of this is incomplete and there may be errors. This part of the website is also still under construction, so there may be some fields repeated or incorrectly formatted information.

The database sometimes uses language taken from historical documents to help research, which may now appear outdated and even offensive. The database also includes information on objects that are considered secret or sacred by some communities.

If you have any further information about objects in our collections or can suggest corrections to our information, please contact us: