CultureJWIndochina, Myanmar, Naga

Hail to the Headhunters

CultureJWIndochina, Myanmar, Naga
Hail to the Headhunters

People are not entirely sure when the Naga tribe, traditionally located in the highlands which straddle the border between Myanmar and India, put aside their headhunting traditions.

Some say it was in the late 1960s. Other stories say it was closer to the 1990s. Until the influence of the British arrived, fearsome feuds between tribes and clans could last generations, often with tragic consequences. Fortunately, today’s intrepid traveller can visit the Naga tribal lands without fear of losing their heads, and instead be granted a cultural immersion unlike any other, especially during the tribe’s annual New Year’s celebrations, held each January. During this unique festival Nagaland, the traditional lands of the Naga people, usually accessed by air or via the winding Chindwin River, opens to outsiders, as the tribes make peace and celebrate their traditions in a brilliantly-colourful display of culture, dance, mythology and ceremony witnessed by only a clutch of travellers.