THE LAST OF THE TATTOOED HEADHUNTERS – THE KONYAKS
The vanishing tattoo tradition of the Konyak tribe of Nagaland, North East India. Known as a headhunter tribe. Tattooing has been practiced for generations due to its relation with headhunting and it was deeply intertwined into the culture. This visual art was a form of beautification for the wearer, that marked the different stages of the cycle of life from boyhood to manhood and from girlhood to womanhood. Tattoos mark the achievements on a physical journey through life. The Konyaks believed that the head contains the soul force which will bring fertility to the lands and prosperity to their people. Since recently this culture is making some drastic changes. In the early seventies this practice was still going on but now smartphones and social media has found the way into these remote corners. The konyak are in a state of hyper-development.