The last headhunters.

Category: Travel Portraits

 

Photo and caption by ayan ghosh

The Nagas of North-Eastern India were once ferocious headhunters. Though it sounds like a form of institutionalized violence, the ritual was intrinsically linked with fertility, status and marking of adulthood. With the advent of proselytizing Christian missionaries, head hunting gradually declined with the last incidents recorded in the 60's. The last living headhunters are all more than 80 years old now and will surely disappear in another ten years. They are easily identifiable by their distinct facial tattoo, an honor which only someone who had taken a head was entitled to.

Location: Mon, Nagaland, India

 

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