Maurizio Trifilidis – Konyak the last headhunter

Maurizio Trifilidis – Konyak the last headhunter

In Nagaland, on the border between India and Myanmar, some headhunters from the Konyak tribe are still alive. Their villages are located  in remote areas, difficult to reach and where time seems to have stopped.

In the past, their life was to defend their own village and plunder the nearby ones, cutting off and keeping the heads of the slain enemies. These were displayed by hunters as trophies outside their hut; they demonstrated the courage and fighting skills of those who lived there; they attracted the esteem of the rest of the village. Then cutting off the heads of enemies was banned and ceased  at the end of the 60s.

Leaving Headhunters are now few and obviously very old, but still proud and proud. They live in bamboo huts, where they keep a fire constantly burning. They are characterized by their earlobes pierced with antelope horns and, above all, by heavy tattoos on their faces. Only those who had killed an enemy could get their face tattooed. Their weapons, sharp machetes, spears and rifles, are still kept in perfect working order and are proudly displayed.

They leave no heirs and their own ethnicity is destined to disappear or, in any case, to change profoundly. A few more years and there will be no more authentic headhunters.

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