Pair of Silver Spiral Naga Earrings (Nagulu)
Southern Orissa, India
length (approx): 5.2cm, combined weight: 19.85g
This fine pair of earrings of solid silver are formed as coiled cobras and are known as nagulu or sometimes nagula. They were worn by screwing the tail through four or five holes around the edge of the ear according to Untracht (1997, p, 219), although Ganguly (2007, p. 202) shows a photograph of an Indian lady wearing one of the earrings with the ear rim threaded through the middle of the coil, made possible by her having a massive hole in her ear lobe.
Related examples are illustrated in Ganguly (2007, p. 202), Seiwert (2009, p. 143), and Untracht (1997, p. 219).
The pair here are in an excellent condition and have clear age.
Ganguly, W., Earrings: Ornamental Identity and Beauty in India, B.R. Publishing Corporation, 2007.
Jewellery from the Orient: Treasures from the Bir Collection, Arnoldsche Art Publishers, 2009.
Traditional Jewelry of India, Thames & Hudson, 1997.
private collection, London.
Inventory no.: 4201
A related Yemen necklace on display in the Islamic Art Museum Malaysia.
(Photographed February 2017.)