|An example of the "Toulouse Deformity"|
Photo: Didier Descouens/WikiCommons CC BY-SA 3.0
Artificial cranial deformation, also known as head flattening, is the practice of altering the natural shape of the head through force. The earliest written reference to artificial cranial deformation comes from Hesiod, a Greek poet who lived between 750 and 650 B.C. It was once a common practice in many widespread cultures around the world and still occurs today in a few places, like Vanuatu, an island in the South Pacific. Until the early 1900s artificial cranial deformation was common amongst the French peasantry. Known as the "Toulouse deformity" a baby's head would be tightly bound and padded, to protect it from accidental impacts.
|Photo: Didier Descouens/WikiCommons CC BY-SA 3.0|
More: Atlas Obscura