Traditional Jewellery of Nagaland

India is one among the foremost assorted and vibrant countries within the world, with a bewildering cluster of societies, workmanship and convictions. The Naga tribes, generally within the northeastern part of India and therefore the northwestern part of Burma are perhaps one among the foremost interesting and vibrant elements of the region.

This region is understood as Nagaland, and therefore the Naga have a robust tribal streak, even officially declaring independence from Britain before India itself!

The Naga people have a culture considerably all their own, and this is often reflected in their fascinating lifestyles, beliefs, clothing, and therefore the unique necklaces and beads that represent them all around the world.

Jewellery is merely as real because of the stories woven around it, I believe, and that’s why Nagaland’s rich tradition of accessorizing has always drawn us towards it.

Jewellery always has a deeper meaning in Nagaland—from individual, class and tribe identity to being used for self-defense. Both men and ladies are equally jewellery-obsessed with earrings, armlets, anklets, necklaces and belts.

As with other tribes from the North-East, you’ll easily identify Nagas by the jewellery and traditional costumes they wear.

Naga jewellery is formed from a spread of materials like carnelian and glass beads, coral, bronze, boar tusks, shells, ivory, conch shells, cowries. Orange, red, yellow, blue, green, bronze—the craziest colors go perfectly together on one piece. Most necklaces are multi-strand and it’s perfectly natural to wear many necklaces at an equivalent time.

History of Nagaland Traditional Jewellery :

Jewellery always has a deeper meaning in Nagaland—from individual, class and tribe identity to being used for self-defense. Naga jewellery is formed from a spread of materials like carnelian and glass beads, coral, bronze, boar tusks, shells, ivory, conch shells, cowries.

Traditional Jewellery of Nagaland

Traditional Jewellery of Nagaland
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1. Konyak Collar:

Ancient deomani glass beads that are short, tubular, or cylindrical used to make the Konyak collar and are adorned with small size heads made of brass. Red beads during a collar indicate danger, blood, and flame.

Wearing tiger teeth symbolizes the courage of men. The collar may be a symbolic descriptor of the wearer’s social status. A Konyak men’s status springs from how often one and one’s forefathers hosted lavish feasts, one’s prowess in warfare, how percentage heads were taken, and in some areas, how many extramarital affairs one could brag.

2. Beaded Jewellery of Naga:

Nagas believe that the beads contain all prayers that made and sustained under the shimmering mountain sun. Among the nagas, necklaces are thick with many strands are worn by women.

They believed that the thicker the neckpiece, the upper the presumed wealth of the wearer and one’s family. These accessories are made out of broken glasses during which most of the colorful glass beads are strung alongside locally made fiber cords that are further intertwined with coins.

Similarly, there are many such pieces of jewelry native to a selected naga tribe like konyak Trophy Heads, Kuki Jewellery, and more.

Ornaments among nagas are socially bound; beyond life. In the event of unnatural death all possessions, including ornaments, left either at the place of death or within the abandoned house occupied by the family of the deceased.

This ritual, now restricted to the inside, was practiced among most nagas within the past. In certain regions, many such abandoned collapsed houses can still be seen. The rituals vary as per the tribe. In some Naga tribes, within the event of an accursed/exceptional death, everything within the household of the deceased is abandoned.

The house also can’t be burnt down until it collapses on its own. All the belongings, including money, were kept untouched and unattended. In other naga tribes, men who die violent deaths, as an example by tiger attack or accident, are simply abandoned, without sheathing or ornament, as their death was ascribed to the disapproval of the Gods

Modern Day Nagaland’s Traditional Jewellery

Modern Day Nagaland's Traditional Jewellery
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People today, adorn jewelry to intensify their physical appearance, some wear it traditionally. If the jewellery was to act as an extension of our physical bodies, could it’s called a prosthetic?

If Prosthetic is a manmade feature or a bit of flexible material applied to a person’s face or body to vary their appearance temporarily could jewelries be our temporal enhancement of physical being?

Often, quite knowing answers to certain questions, effective questioning becomes a crucial act to regulate our minds than letting it control us.

To be ready to study traditional jewellery of Nagaland, holding onto the previous questions becomes vital for ornaments to Naga tribes are beyond its social purpose and not just limited to life.

The Homeland to 16 prominent tribes and various other sub-tribes is Nagaland; situated amidst the hills and mountains of Northeastern a neighborhood of India. The word Naga is believed to be originated from the Burmese word na-ka, meaning people with earrings. 

Folx within the Asian subcontinent are adorning their bodies with pieces of jewelry or personal ornaments for hundreds of years, no matter their identity. Moreover, Asia was one of the primary places to form jewellery in masses for the royals.

The people belonging to the age of the Indus Valley Civilization were one among the primary to start out jewelry making. For the people of Nagaland, jewelry isn’t a mere accessory for adornment but is quintessential to their identity as a tribe. Besides fulfilling the social needs of the people, they serve visually to differentiate the warrior and commoner classes.

The traditional jewellery of Nagaland are multi-colored with simple designs and are crafted with a spread of beads, feathers, brass, bronze, shells, claws, wood, glass, bone, jewel, boar tusk, claws, horns, and ivory. The colorful and intricately designed costumes, jewelry, beads are symbolic of ancient heritage.

Tribal Jewellery of Nagaland

Tribal Jewellery of Nagaland
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Naga Beads & Jewellery

The Naga people are comprised of a conglomeration of different tribes, united under the “Naga” name to distinguish themselves as a singular political and cultural society within the border of other nations.

The jewellery and beadwork are considered to be the “most beautiful, elaborate ornamentations of any tribal culture”.

For the Naga, their ornamentations aren’t mere decoration – they’re a neighborhood of the wearer’s identity which of the tribe to which the wearer belongs.