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  • Antique Naga Ancestor Figure

    This antique hardwood statue is a rare ancestor figure from the Naga people of Nagaland.  The right hand is raised in a protective gesture while the head is adorned with a plumed cap. Two snakes are wrapped around the torso, the heads of each resting on the shoulders of the man, and the figure is dressed in a fringed kirtle or wrap.

    Dating from the 19th Century or earlier, this antique figure was originally coated with a black, tar-like substance to protect the wood. Obtained by my father in Nepal in the early 1980's, the statue is very well preserved and has a beautiful aged patina.

    Ancestor statues were used to not only venerate auspicious ancestors, but also to protect the home and the interests of living family members.

    Naga statuary is very rare - southern Nepalese ancestor figures, while very collectable in their own right, are often mislabeled as Naga because of the cachet of the Naga tradition of headhunting. Antique Naga statues are usually identifiable by a unique stance, or specific clothing, headdresses and jewellery.

    Measurements: Height 56 cm, width 16.5 cm at base, depth 15 cm at base.