Face to face with a headhunter and we both keep ours on our own shoulders. People haven’t been actively cutting off heads in Nagaland for more than forty years, but when one former headhunter starts to show me how he killed his enemies in long ago battles, I have the thought that he might suddenly forget it’s no longer the good old days and decide to take one last head….mine. I tell the story of my trip to Nagaland and visiting with headhunters on my radio show National Geographic Weekend. This video has the story as well as pictures from my Nagaland adventure.
It seemed like a good idea when I ask this headhunter to post for a picture. Then I got worried when I noticed a gleam in his eyes as if he were suddenly having a flashback and considering the possibility of recapturing the glory of a youthful warrior who once took three heads in battle.
After convincing him my head was too big to fit in his pot, I got Langang to demonstrate the best way to approach your enemy in battle. However Langang doesn’t trust me with a real machete, so I’m left holding a casava root. Afterwards I’m in charge of making the tapioca.