19th century. 72 3/4” length with wood haft wrapped in sheared, spirally wound red goat hair above the grip and red, white, and black below, testimony to the Naga love of bright colors. Leaf-shaped forged iron secured with two pins. Worn from use and some surface soiling. Prior to the British annexation of Assam (northeast India) in 1826, the Naga lived in isolation from the outside world. Warfare among the various tribes was common and headhunting integral to their culture. Transition to manhood and the right to marry required the taking of a head. Under British rule, tea plantations flourished, employing the Naga. But headhunting continued until after the turn of the 20th century.