Civilians belonging to the Konyak tribe of Nagaland were killed during an awry military operation in the state.
Konyaks are one among the largest Naga tribes. They are found in Arunachal Pradesh and Myanmar apart from Nagaland.
The Konyaks were infamous for their martial practices such as head-hunting. They were the last to give up the practice in late 1980s.
Konyaks have been resisting the entry of NSCN (IM) from setting up camps in Mon district, where they are in majority.
Role in Naga peace talks
Konyaks are the backbone of NNPG. It is a group of seven indigenous Naga groups of Nagaland that are opposing NSCN (IM).
The NSCN (IM) is dominated by Tangkhul tribe of Manipur. The Konyaks are against the dominance exercised by NSCN (IM) in Naga politics.
This makes them central to the peace process in Nagaland. There are fears that peace process could be disrupted if Konyaks are not pacified about the incident.
Konyaks hold their chieftain, known as Anghs/Wangs in high esteem. They used to sport facial tattoos after earning them by head-hunting.
The biggest festival of Konyaks is Aoleng. It is celebrated to pray to the almighty before the seed-sowing season.
The traditional harvest festival is the Lao Ong Mo. It is celebrated during the months of August/September.
They were last among the Naga tribes that accepted Christianity. The heads collected by the warrior indicated his status symbol.
The hunted heads were displayed as trophies in their community house, known as 'baan'. They speak the Konyak language.
Konyaks have been demanding a separate Frontier Nagaland as major developments are carried out in biased manner, without benefitting frontier and remote districts.