Naga Crystal Earrings
Nagaland, the smallest of Indian states, is located in North East India, bordering Burma. Its inhabitants are aboriginal tribes whose distinct culture has persisted for thousands of years. Their culture is free of Hindu influence, instead it is animistic, meaning objects, plants or animals possess energy or soul. Once significance is ascribed to worn materials they become important power objects.
Naga jewelry is worn mainly by men warriors during ceremonial festivals and it is quite uniform. The prerogative to wear particular ornament is strictly controlled and rights to wear certain ornaments are earned, allowing for social mobility. Rights are permitted based on bravery, wealth and prestige. Materials used are varied- vegetable substances like bamboo or wood, animal materials like skin, hair, claws, horns and tusks, imported materials like ivory, seashells, coral and metals and hard stone beads like rock crystals, carnelian, amber and glass.
Rock crystal earrings are worn by women of the Ao and Tangkhul tribes. Their place of manufacture is Burma. They are typically round cornered squares, rectangles or circles with a central round hole from which a slot extends to one outer edge.To wear them, the bottom of a stretched earlobe with a large enough hole is forced through the slot into the central hole and the slot is turned downward so the earlobe supports it.
Circa: Late 19th early 20th century
Material: Rock Crystal
Condition: Excellent condition
Dimensions: 1.5" Dia
Inventory number: JL3632