Tuesday, November 9, 2010

About that Headhunting Thing

Only two weeks to go!!! It is very strange to think that we will be traveling for days without knowing what awaits us when the plane lands. At this point, I only have Internet images to guide my imagination. I've seen photographs of beautiful people, interesting food, mountainous landscapes, and heartbreakingly adorable kids. These are some of the on-line photos:

And then there are the headhunting images:

I have to admit that I was REALLY nervous about the trip when I first saw images like this one. The idea of headhunting was terrifying. But then, as I learned more, my perspective changed. I realized that I was comparing it to an ideal that did not exist--to a community that lives without violence. We are far from that ideal, both in Rochester and in the United States. During the most recent decades that headhunting was practiced (at least according to the basic websites that I have read), we dropped an atomic bomb. Headhunting is no longer practiced, and yet look at what the United States has done in Iraq and Afghanistan in the past 10 years alone. How do our actions compare?

Now, I am surprisingly comfortable with this image. In fact, I have no proof that it's even real. And, if it is, it's an important part of the history of Nagaland and one that we cannot judge until we look carefully at our own. For now, I just see the incredible headhunting necklaces and wonder, with fingers crossed, if they might have "tourist versions" at the market.

1 comment:

  1. Yeah what are the odds that they're still hunting heads? Like 60/40? And even by that ratio, you'll probably get to keep your head. It's not like you're going to Detroit. You'll be fine.