Asian Artefacts:

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Naga Chest Ornament (Northeast India):
Naga Chest Ornament (Northeast India) (AS0071)
A Naga chest ornament top
in a style which imitates a cut enlongated conch shell, has a human face with a bulbous nose and engraved oval eyes and slit mouth. It has a band across the forehead and two eyelets for necklace string of orange beads. Four small oval heads form a crown across the top of the head; dark oxidised patina with patches of scale. Material: copper-brass, bead, twine; height: 265mm; width: 100mm.
Provenance:
Time and place of collection from the field is not known. Private Nepalese collection.
Metal heads are traditionally worn as chest ornaments to indicate head-taking status. The heads are of indigenous manufacture and are cast in the shape of a cut conch shell. The shell type were often used in the time before the development of metal casting techniques.
Discussion:
Comparison:
See 'Jacobs, J. 1990' - pp252-5-7 for illustration and description of similar types of chest ornaments.
Artefact Code: AS0071
Sarawak, Borneo and the Iban area around Kapit

Map 1: East Kalimantan and the region of the Bahau Dayak on the Mahakam River


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References:

Jacobs, J. 1990
Jacobs, Julian. THE NAGAS - Hill Peoples of Northeast India. Society, Culture and the Colonial Encounter. BNo. 0-500-97471-3. First Edition 1998 (pb), (1990). Pp: 359; 225mm x 245mm; 1.50kg. 250 col, 450 b/w, 1 map. Acknowledgments, footnotes, glossary, bibliography. A very good paperback copy in illustrated cover. Wrp: vg. Thames and Hudson, London, 1998. (With Alan Macfarlane, Sarah Harrison and Anita Herle. The vibrant material culture is generously illustrated in this book in colour photographs which display their textiles, basketry, weapons, metalwork and carvings. The artefacts are examined in their full historical and anthropological context) (Keywords: Ethnology, Ao, Ang, Angami, Chang, Kerami, Mao, Sema, Kabui, Konyak, Tangkhul, Zemi).

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