The Last Living Head Hunters

  • The Longwa village is situated on the eastern edge of India's north-eastern province of Nagaland. With Myanmar on one side and India on the other, this village is home to the fierce Konyak Naga Tribe. Konyaks have been known as fierce head hunters from centuries till the 1970s. Killing an enemy and bringing back their head was considered a right of passage and was rewarded by a tattoo on the face or the chest of the warrior. What money is to us is what heads were to them.
     
    Animal skulls and bones decorate the walls of every Konyak house showcasing the pride and respect of the warrior. Human skulls too dorned the walls before the Konyaks converted to Christianity. Many of the tribes traditional practices and cultures have nearly vanished. The most feared warriors of yesteryear have almost diminished into just being a few old men with faded tattoos who can now be spotted smoking opium around the village, sharing stories about their glorious past.
     
    My goal was to revive their sense of pride and capture their striking personalities to tell their story.