Naga Torso Ornament

The Nagas are the hill people of Northeast India. These people were radically different in culture and beliefs from the better-known Hindu inhabitants of the Indian plains. In the years before Indian Independence in  1947 they fiercely opposed British rule.  Diverse tribes that speak many languages,  they have many social and cultural similarities, most notoriously, headhunting which was practiced until the middle of the 19th century.

The Naga tribes display a certain unity in their dress and ornamentation.Their jewelry is worn during festivities and primarily by men. The right to wear certain jewels is based on merit.

This warrior necklace and belt combination depicts a pectoral brass human head as the central power object. Brass heads were alotted to headhunters. The spirit of the dead resides in them and the stitched mouth prevents it from escaping.  The wild boar’s tusks also indicate a wearer of great courage as wild boars are known as fearless. Completing this imposing torso ornament are  incised bone plates, beads and wool tassels

Circa: Late 19th early 20th century

Origin: India

Material: Brass , beads, wood, bone, wool and cane.

Condition: Excellent

Dimensions: 20" X 30" W

Inventory number: JL3633



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