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The Two-headed Mexican
(Pasqual Pinon)


"The Two-headed Mexican (Pasqual Pinon)" is copyright    2002 by James G. Mundie. All rights reserved.  Reproduction prohibited.

Pen and ink, 8 x 6 inches, 2002

Pasqual Pinon was a performer in the Sells-Floto Circus sideshow in the early part of the last century. The so-called "two-headed" man in fact had a large wen on the top of his skull which he fitted with a hollow wax replica of his actual head before appearing on stage. Some have gone so far as to claim that Pinon's promoter had a silver-plated metal form surgically implanted in the growth to create the illusion of facial features, but that seems to me a highly risky and unlikely scenario. Whether or not Pinon was even a Mexican is subject to debate.

Pinon was a big draw in the sideshow, where no showman ever let the truth get in the way of a good story. This gimmick went on for many years until declining health forced Pinon to have his 'second head' surgically removed and thus end his career in the circus.

In photographs, Pinon's face often carries a very serious — or perhaps bored — expression. Stern, but with his fanciful headgear intact, I have here portrayed Pinon in the context of a fifteenth-century painting by Dieric Bouts.

To see an enlarged detail of this drawing (422K), please click here.


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All Images and Text James G. Mundie 2003 - 2010