New Gallery: Konyak Tribe, the Headhunters of Nagaland, India.

Living Out Their Last Days As Legends from the Past


For generations upon generations, the Konyak Tribe of Nagaland, India had made headhunting not only a legitimate livelihood, but a rite of passage for young men in the past. Nagaland exists as a remote tribal state, nearly hidden among valleys and jungles, and home to diverse people groups located in Northeastern India. Now, the oldest generations are remembered by the visual marks of a tradition and way of life that has been banned. Yet the old men still bear the title with dignity. According to Konyak warrior Chopa, he expressed pride in his heritage by relating that the British successfully wiped out villages, but the Konyak remained strong to their physical and cultural roots: “We the Konyak are the most powerful. We stay here. We are dominant.”


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