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The Last Surviving Head Hunters: The Konyak Tribe

The headhunters are a dying breed. And despite their age they look amazing.

Nagaland is a small, tribal state in Northeast India. In Nagaland’s district of Mon there live the last remaining headhunters on earth. Or so the story goes. Anthony Pappone made the trip to meet with them, hear their stories and take some intimate portraits.

Images VIA

The Konyak tribe pictured below were a warrior tribe and actively hunted their enemy’s heads until the 1960’s. Nowadays they’re a bit too old to be chasing around decapitating people. But I still wouldn’t mess with them.

The facial and chest tattoos of the Konyak men are given to warriors after presenting the head of an enemy to the leader of the tribe. They believe that if you take an enemy’s head you also take their power and their soul. The Konyak tribesmen with facial tattoos were the most feared and revered.

Here are some of Pappone’s incredibly intimate portraits of the aging headhunters. Click through the following slides:

Konyak Last Of The Head Hunters - Back Tattoo

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