Skip To Content
BuzzFeed News Home Reporting To You

Utilizamos cookies, próprios e de terceiros, que o reconhecem e identificam como um usuário único, para garantir a melhor experiência de navegação, personalizar conteúdo e anúncios, e melhorar o desempenho do nosso site e serviços. Esses Cookies nos permitem coletar alguns dados pessoais sobre você, como sua ID exclusiva atribuída ao seu dispositivo, endereço de IP, tipo de dispositivo e navegador, conteúdos visualizados ou outras ações realizadas usando nossos serviços, país e idioma selecionados, entre outros. Para saber mais sobre nossa política de cookies, acesse link.

Caso não concorde com o uso cookies dessa forma, você deverá ajustar as configurações de seu navegador ou deixar de acessar o nosso site e serviços. Ao continuar com a navegação em nosso site, você aceita o uso de cookies.

A Photographer Took Portraits Of India's Last Headhunter Tribe

Meet this tribe before they disappear

Posted on March 10, 2016, at 2:54 p.m. ET

Trupal Pandya

The Konyak Naga tribe has been known for its fierce headhunters for centuries. Killing an enemy and bringing back their head was considered a rite of passage and was rewarded by a tattoo on the face or the chest of the warrior. Jewelry has also been a big part of their customs: the number of heads on a warrior’s necklace shows the number of people he killed. Regulations in the 1970s put a stop to the bloodletting, but members of the tribe survive still in the northeast of India between Nepal and Myanmar

Photographer Trupal Pandya traveled to their village to take portraits before the tribe disappeared entirely.

Trupal Pandya

Chopa Wangano, 79

“Heads were to us what money is to your generation. They brought us respect and meant getting a better girl for marriage. And our tattoos symbolized our achievements,” said one tribe member.

“In earlier times we used to hang the heads of our enemies on the walls of our houses, but now we are not allowed. So we have replaced them with the skulls of animals that we kill to provide for our familys” Luhbong Wang, 76, told Pandya.

Now the tribe is beset by influences of the modern age. Many of the young people have left to find jobs elsewhere, and modern fashion and technology have crept into the Konyak way of life. The ceremonies — along with traditional jewelry and clothes — are fading customs within the tribe. Within the community ,Ching Kum, 86, is famed for having hunted the last head in 1990 while fighting the neighboring Chang tribe.

Trupal Pandya


Trupal Pandya
Trupal Pandya
Trupal Pandya


Trupal Pandya


Trupal Pandya


Trupal Pandya
Trupal Pandya


Trupal Pandya
Trupal Pandya


Trupal Pandya
Trupal Pandya


BuzzFeed News’ FinCEN Files investigation exposed massive financial corruption on a historic global scale. Want to support our journalism? Become a BuzzFeed News member.

ADVERTISEMENT