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Bead & Bone Necklace or Girdle
Naga People, India/Burma
19th century

length (approx): 67cm, width: 15.5cm, weight: 517g

This beaded belt or girdle with etched bone ends would have been worn over a short skirt by a Naga woman, probably of the Konyak group. It comprises
dozens of strands of red, blue and other coloured glass beads that most probably were manufactured in India.

Such belts with all the beads they required were displays of status and wealth.

Jacobs (1990, p. 308) illustrates several related examples.

The belt is in excellent condition - there are no discernible losses and the threading is robust and stable.

References:
Daalder, T.,
Ethnic Jewellery and Adornment: Australia, Oceania, Asia, Africa, Ethnic Art Press/Macmillan, 2009.
Jacobs, J.,
The Nagas: Hill Peoples of Northeast India, Thames & Hudson, 1990.
Shilu, A.,
Naga Tribal Adornment: Signatures of Status and Self, The Bead Museum, Washington, 2003.
Untracht, O.,
Traditional Jewelry of India, Thames & Hudson, 1997.

Provenance: private collection, London.

Inventory no.: 4259

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