- Museum number
Head carved from wood, originally painted red (now faded to dark brown), with black lines and dots decorating face. Fringe of black hair encircles the crown; loop of twisted fibre attached to centre of crown. To each ear is attached a tuft of goat's hair dyed in horizontal bands of red and white (now faded and discoloured). Small white shells with black dots at centre represent the eyes. Small disc of pith decorates the top of one ear (other missing). Small hole in underside of head.
- Production date
Height: 35 centimetres
Weight: 557 grammes
Width: 12 centimetres
Depth: 13 centimetres
- Curator's comments
See AOA CCAcquisitions 1872 - List of items presented by Dr James M Foster, Surgeon with the Assam Company. Nov. 21 1872.
... 46, Painted wooden head used in their war-dances, being attached to the end of an elastic bamboo so as to swing up & down. Naga. Dr. F. does not know what significance they attach to this.
47. A smaller -do- -do- Naga.
Register comment: 'Nagas, Assam. Head carved in wood, painted red and ornamented with a pattern in black lines and dots (representing tattooing). A fringe of dark-coloured hair encircles the crown, a loop to carry it by being attached to the centre of the latter. A small pierce of furred skin represents the chin tuft. To each ear is attached a tuft of goat's hair partly dyed red. A small hole in the base of the head would serve to stick it upon an upright. Small shells represent the eyes. A disc of pith ornaments the upper end of one ear, the fellow is lost. Dr Foster states that the Nagas use these heads in their war-dances, attaching them to one end an elastic bamboo so as to swing up and down. What significance is attached to the practice he could not say. Konyak Naga [two illegible words]. Pres. by Dr. J.M. Foster, Nov.21.1872.'
The face is heavily tattooed, a specific feature of the Konyak Nagas.
- Not on display
- Small piece of fur that was originally attached to the chin is missing as of 26 March 2013.
- Acquisition date
- Registration number
- Additional IDs
CDMS number: As1872C1.8314 (old CDMS no.)