The headhunter tribe or Umbala Tribe is a group of characters from the Jungle Cruise.
The Umbala Tribe were a tribe along the Nile River in Africa. Through unknown means they came into a mystical artifact known as the Treasure of the Pacific, a golden skull with jewel eyes which would be kept in a mystical shrine. This was one of seven treasures created and enchanted by the sea-goddess Calypso representing seven seas. It is possible if not likely that the sacred artifact was connected to the Umbala's odd behaviour of headhunting considering that it is not a traditional practice amongst African tribes.
At some point in the 18th century, the tribe came to have several encounters with pirates who sought after the treasure of the Pacific. This lead to the tribe killing and beheading a good number of pirates before leaving their undead skulls on pikes with a sign reading, "Pirates be warned". Eventually the pirates Captain Jack Sparrow of the Black Pearl and Captain Barbossa of the Wicked Wench came to seek after the treasure. Sparrow's crew would prove themselves worthy to the spirit of the treasure of the Pacific and it would later be claimed by Sparrow himself.
By the 1930s, the Nile region inhabited by the Umbala would come to be partly occupied by the Jungle Navigation Company. The Umbala were openly hostile with these colonists, often ambushing and attacking them while killing both employees and customers as part of their headhunts.
Skulls on pikes and left as warning and decoration can be found throughout Adventureland, presumably the work of the headhunters.
The Jungle Cruise
The headhunters are encountered in this attraction along the Nile River. Skippers pass by their territory and witness a ceremony only to be attacked by an ambush of headhunters armed with spears and shields. Additionally in Walt Disney World's boat-house (set in the Amazon), one of the headhunter warrior's masks (resembling a duck head) marks the entrance to the JNC outpost as a decoration.
The headhunters are supporting antagonists in the mission, "Heads, you lose" where guests working for Jack Sparrow compete with Barbossa to seek the treasure of the Pacific.
The Jungle Cruise (film)
In this film, the headhunters are actually white actors hired by deuteragonist Frank Wolff for his artificial Jungle Cruise.
- During the ambush scene, one of the headhunters shouts out, "I love disco!".
- The mask of one of the headhunters which is also located in the Mekong boathouse resembles the head of Donald Duck.