The last of the headhunters

It may come as some surprise to you that these guys really do exist.

Just some 50 odd years ago warriors were beheading their enemies in tribal warfare, their tattooed faces signify those who have taken a head and are displays of the warriors skill and bravery. In the tribal regions of North Eastern India a hand full of these warriors still exist, now old men, there faces show the signs of a hard fought life. The tattoos may have faded but these are still very proud men who are well respected within the community.

Still living very simple lives these warriors are aging fast, in a country where the life expectancy is around 65 years they surely wont be around for much longer. While many may see that killing and beheading an enemy to be an extremely violent and horrific act, they were almost always carried out as acts of revenge for a previous killing of one of their own tribesmen. It certain makes me think about how this form of capital punishment compares to that which continues today in many countries.


That was post number 31 of 366, come back tomorrow for more.

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    Portraits of Nagaland

    My time here in India and particularly the North East is coming to an end and this will probably be the last from Nagaland that I share with you for a while. Its been an incredible adventure that I hope one day to come back and complete before things have ´advanced´ too far and spoilt the real essence of this place. One of my fondest memories that I have is that of the people I have met up here, people I have become so fond of that at times it´s been hard to move on.

    Old man and young boy portrait of Nagaland. Copyright Tom Bourdon | Documentary Travel Photography

    Old man and young girl portrait of Nagaland. Copyright Tom Bourdon | Documentary Travel Photography

    That was day 25 of 366, come back tomorrow for more

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