Naga Beaded Tribal Necklace

Original Konyak Naga necklace, 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 collected 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 and brown 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.

  • Naga necklace, Konyak people, Nagaland
  • Genuine vintage tribal necklace collected in the 1970's
  • Dates to mid to late Colonial period - early to mid 20th century
  • Ceramic beads with bone spacers, brass bells and shell button
  • A very wearable piece of history - women's jewellery or men's jewellery


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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