Original Konyak Naga necklace, one of two collected during the 1970's by my father Bernard Heaphy, out of Nepal. The necklace is in an excellent and stable condition, with wear marks commensurate with late colonial age. The necklace has been in our collection in Australia ever since.
At the time, many genuine Naga pieces could still be found via Nepal and northern Thailand. Genuine pieces are now rarely available, and there is a thriving fake market operating out of Delhi, India. Fakes, however, are beautiful and intricate pieces in their own right. They are valued in the region of $100 - 300.
This beautiful tribal necklace is strung with orange, red, green, yellow and blue ceramic trade beads and small hand cast bronze bells with bone spacers. The necklace is strung on native cotton twine and is finished with a large shell button cut from the large marine gastropod mollusc Turbinara sp sourced from the Bay of Bengal.Typically, shell was used by inland cultures to indicate wealth and status, because of the costs associated with transportation inland.
Length 79 cm (31 in)
Note that similar examples may be found in Jacobs 1990.
Jacobs, J., The Nagas: Hill Peoples of Northeast India, Thames & Hudson, 1990.
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