Enquiry about object: 2371

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Naga Ivory Bracelet (Akahaghi)

Naga People, India & Burma
19th century

width: 4.2cm, outside widest diameter: 9.8cm, inside widest diameter: 6.8cm, weight: 271g



private collection, UK

Bracelets (or more accurately, armlets) such as this example were worn by Naga men, usually above the elbow. It is fashioned from an ivory tusk cross-section.Traditionally, such armlets were worn to indicate success in head-taking. They were the most highly valued of Naga ornaments; only warriors were entitled to wear them (Untracht, 1997, p. 60)

The example here has a flat interior surace but the outer sides are gently concave. The armlet overall has a wonderful golden patina. It is in perfect condition.

See Jacobs (1990, p. 268-9), Untracht (1997, p. 60), and Shilu (2003, p. 25) for similar examples.


Borel, F., The Splendour of Ethnic Jewelry: From the Colette and Jean-Pierre Ghysels Collection, Thames & Hudson, 1994.

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.

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