Regarded as one of the fiercest tribes in the world, the Konyak are masters of a warrior tradition and a barbaric past, whose violent reputation is due in particular to one of their traditions, the practice of Human Headhunting.
For the Konyak warriors, beheading an enemy and guarding their head as a trophy meant gaining a portion of that person’s power and spirit, which simultaneously allowed them a rise in social status and a strengthening of the bonds of respect and admiration they were voted by their community. Officially abolished by the Indian government around 1960, the practice of Headhunting remains alive in the customs of the Konyak elders. The Headhunters series is an attempt by Fanil Pandya to visually narrate the stories of the last Konyak headhunters still alive. It has already been exhibited in India in New Delhi, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Vadodara and Hyderabad in the prestigious Indian Photo Festival and in Portugal, curated by Isabel Braz (ethiCollective) was presented in Lisbon (2017), Porto and Évora. (2018).