I've come across a confusing phrase.
This former Belgian possession is the most Christian country in Africa, boasting the highest percentage of churches per head of population, with 65 percent of Rwandans professing Roman Catholicism and another 15 percent adhering to various Protestant sects. The words “per head” took on a macabre ring in 1992, when at a given signal the racist militias of “Hutu Power,” incited by state and church, fell upon their Tutsi neighbors and slaughtered them en masse.
Though having some somewhat approximate guesses, I can't make sure what the bol italic phrase above exactly mean in this context.
Should I take it literally and come up with something like "wearing a death-resembling (horrible) ring"? Or should I consider any implications or metaphors?
Actually, I can't associate "take on" with "ring" in this sentence. Hence all the confusion.