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Konyak Naga Shell and Glass Bead Necklace

Konyak Naga Shell and Glass Bead Necklace

Regular price €85,00
Regular price Sale price €85,00
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Konyak Nagas, early to mid. 20th century, Mon District, Nagaland, India.

Beautiful aged necklace with colorful glass beads and shells. The Konyak Nagas are one of the major Naga ethnic groups. In Nagaland, they inhabit the Mon District, which is also known as The Land of the Anghs. The Anghs are their traditional chiefs whom they hold in high esteem. The Konyaks were the last among the Naga ethnic groups to accept Christianity. In the past, they were infamous for attacking nearby villages, often resulting in killings and decapitation of the heads of opposing warriors. Nagas traditionally are tribally organized, with a strong warrior tradition. Conflict between tribes, clans and villages was common in the old days and headhunting was a feature of warfare. The traditional weapons of warfare were spears and shields. Headhunting and warfare was common into the early 20th century. The last reports of headhunting in Indian Nagaland were in 1960's. Facial tattoos were earned for taking an enemy's head. Other unique traditional practices that set the Konyaks apart are: gunsmithing, iron-smelting, brass-works, and gunpowder-making. They are also known for in making fine machetes (yanglaü) and wooden sculptures. Elaborate headdresses are made of bear fur, feathers, the tusks of wild boar and tufts of human hair. Naga jewelry is an equally important part of indentity and the use of wide range of materials including funnel-shaped beads, shell, bone, claws, teeths and tusks, horns, hair etc. 

Absolutely gorgeous old necklace are in good condition. Age-related wear and handling over many years. Chip in shells. Lovely patina. Length approx. 74,0cm. 

Provenance: Dutch private collection

References and further reading:

Naga, (

Certain Aspects of Naga Culture, J.P. Mills, The Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland, Vol. 56 (1926), pp. 27-35.

Nagas: Their History, Life and Customs, Facts and Details, August 2020.(

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