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Hot Chicks and Human Heads: Welcome to Nagaland

December 8th, 2011 by Cyndi Freeman

In 1944, right in the thick of WWII, my cousin Jimmy’s plane went down while flying from India to China. Everyone else in the crew died but him. He was rescued by a tribe of folks called the Naga and lived with them for 3 months. Today Nagaland is an eco-tourist hotspot, but in 1944 the locals were head hunters and and Jimmy was carried into a village that was surrounded by dismembered heads on spikes.

Despite the fierceness of their culture, they were quite kind to him. According to Wikipedia, the people of Nagaland were known for their hospitality to strangers. My cousin did not know this at the time, but head trophies were taken only during battle and since he was not waging a war with them, he was safe. He was treated as a friend in need. In fact they liked him so much they tried to find him a wife.

You can hear my story at our live show AND I AM NOT LYING LIVE this Saturday. But in the meantime here are some images and links to video. Look now or come back and learn more after hearing me tell this truly amazing family story!

Want to buy this? This photo is from a tribal art site and is selling Naga human skull trophy arts.

I┬áthink it looked like this kid before it was “harvested”:

Jimmy claimed the girls were constantly dancing for him and that the chief encouraged him to enjoy his wife. But Jimmy “…had a girl waiting for me in New Jersey! Besides what if I got someone jealous? Someone like the chief? Next thing I’d have my head on a spike! Nope, I was having none of that!”

I’m not sure I believe him – here is Youtube video of a present day Naga girl showing off her shimmy.


Some girls at a festival event:

Want to see more? Check out this documentary online!

Captured By Women is a one-hour documentary in four parts that focuses on film footage by two British women in the 1930s -┬áBeatrice Blackwood in Papua New Guinea, and Ursula Graham Bower in Manipur, India. (Which borders on Nagaland.) Here’s the first part:

 

Captured by Women (2011) Part 1 from Pitt Rivers Museum archive films on Vimeo.

And you can see an in depth interview by Ursula Graham Bower recorded in 1985.

 

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