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This book is David Bailey’s (born 1938) portrayal of the landscapes and personalities of the densely forested Naga Hills, part of the complex mountain barrier between India and Myanmar (Burma), and home to the Naga tribes (“those with pierced ears” in Burmese). Bailey had hoped to visit the Naga Hills since he was a young man, but access had been continually restricted because of war and unrest–until 2012, when that wish finally became a reality.
Bailey had initially wanted to photograph the story of the last headhunters in the region, but in typical Bailey style, he improvised when things didn’t quite go to plan: he recalls for example cutting though difficult terrain (at times needing to walk beside the four-wheel drives), becoming lost for hours, only to be discovered by armed men who directed him to a party at a guard post, where he danced the night away with the soldiers.