The Konyak tribe of Nagaland practiced headhunting into the 1960s. Their strong warrior tradition arose from territorial conflicts between rival tribes and villages. On the battlefield they were feared for their headhunting skills. They beheaded their enemies and brought back the severed heads as trophies in a specially designed basket they carried to the battles.
The heads were then proudly displayed on the walls and doorways of the warriors.
Some of those warriors are still alive today.

This warring tradition is, as you can see below, reflected in their art and that is maybe the reason why it has intrigued so many collectors for decades.




 Naga ornament - 18 * 21 cm


Naga brass torque
The ornament displayed above is exclusively made for a Konyak warrior who has captured two heads from a hostile tribe. After a victorious fight, brass casters were commissioned specifically to commemorate a warriors head-taking prowess. The number of heads collected used to indicate the power and strength of a warrior, so in this case   two trophy heads were taken in a raid by the owner.

This ultra rare torque was cast in one piece. It is in perfect condition and has an outstanding patina and incredible signs of wear.

Age: Late 19th century

Barbier: Art of Nagaland
The Barbier-Muller Collection Geneva, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1984.




Naga head - 51 * 38 * 25 mm

This bone Konya head is small, but with a very powerful facial expression


Naga shell 1 - 78 * 61 * 15 mm


Konya ear ornament
Chank shell, bamboo and red glass bead.
As with the other art pieces displayed here, this was worn exclusively by Headhunters.
These ornaments are decorated with anthropomorphic motifs, in this case, the buffalo horn V.
Naga warriors had this 'V' tattoed on their chests to increase their power.



Naga shell 2 - 66 * 55 * 8 mm



These extremely rare pipes with their powerful portrait of dead enemies' heads were only allowed to use
by actual walk-the-talk head hunters. Smoking tobacco from these pipes was meant as a display and reminder
of heroic deeds once performed by the smoker.




Naga pipe 1 - 17,9 cm




Naga pipe 2 - 17,9 cm






Naga pipe 3 - 18,7 cm




Naga pipe 4 - 17,5 cm






Contact: Gunar Muhlman -