Old and rare Angami Naga shamilami design, three paneled shawl woven by the Meitei of the Manipur State of India and used as a trade/tribute cloth to the Nagas. The exact reason of why these blankets are given to the Naga is a bit obscure. One source says that they are given by a Meitei Raja to a Naga chief for services rendered but as to what these services are I don’t know. Perhaps the service rendered is not coming out of the hills to raid the more peaceful and civilized valley dwelling Meiteis as in the past, the Nagas were a much feared warrior tribe well known for trophy head hunting. Made from very fine hand spun cotton weft and silk warp in natural dyes. The fabric is incredibly smooth and supple and must be touched to really appreciate the fine quality. The embroidered “floating weft” pattern consists of owls, elephants and flowers. A few holes in the salmon pinkish side borders, the biggest one is plainly visible in the upper left corner while the rest are small and insignificant. This a genuine antique cloth circa 80 years sold, not like so many new but old looking, Naga artifacts now out on the market. L: 173cm/68in and W: 117cm/46in.