An Indian headhunter showing off his tattoos
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The dying art of headhunting tattoos

The former headhunters of northeast India once wore their tattoos with pride.

After all, each marking was related to a military success, with the highest honour bestowed when an enemy's head was brought back to the village.

But artists and tattoo researchers in the state of Nagaland say the ancient tradition is vanishing as young people move further away from the brutal practice.

BBC Pop Up followed Mo Naga, a popular Nagaland tattoo artist and researcher, to the village of Phelungre to meet an 85-year-old former headhunter.

BBC Pop Up is the company's travelling unit that does stories suggested to them by their audience. The Nagaland story was suggested to them during a town meeting they held in Delhi.

Follow what BBC Pop Up has been up to in India and find out how to get involved.

Produced by Matt Danzico, Shalu Yadav, Neha Sharma.

  • 04 May
  • From the section India
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