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Today's scholars generally agree that headhunting's primary function was ritual and ceremonial.It was part of the process of structuring, reinforcing, and defending hierarchical relationships between communities and individuals. On the left is a photograph of an upgraded, seven-head tray, from Papua New Guinea, early 1900s.His and other ships were impressing villagers as workers on plantations, a practise known as blackbirding.Captain Mackenzie of the ship Minolta was beheaded by villagers as retribution for the loss of village men during an armed labour "recruiting" drive.
The Wa tribe, whose domain straddles the Burma-China border, were once known to Europeans as the "Wild Wa" for their "savage" behavior. In Sarawak, the north-western region of the island of Borneo, James Brooke and his descendants established a colonial dynasty.It functions to bring an end to communal mourning for the deceased of the past year; express intercultural tensions and polemics; allow for a display of manhood; distribute communal resources; and resist outside pressures to abandon Mappurondo ways of life.United States authorities in the Philippines suppressed headhunting among the Ilongot in the 1930s.The villagers believed that the ship's crew "owed" several more heads before the score was even.In Southeast Asia, anthropological writings have explored headhunting and other practises of the Murut, Ilongot, Igorot, Iban, Dayak, Berawan, Wana, and Mappurondo tribes.
They eradicated headhunting in the hundred years before World War II.