Southeast Asian and early Chinese ceramics by Abhaya Asian Art Abhaya Asian Antiques

Naga menâs blanket

Naga men’s blanket

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Directory: Vintage Arts: Regional Art: Asian: Indian Subcontinent: India: Pre 1960: Item # 754500

Please refer to our stock # 1816 when inquiring.
Abhaya Asian Antiques
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G/F, North Flat, Lot 965 Peak Road West
Cheung Chau, Hong Kong
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Absolutely fabulous ( I would only say this if I don’t care if it sells and am happy to keep it for my own collection ) old and rare Angami Naga, three paneled shawl with anthropomorphic cowry shell design, 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 the Nagas are a much feared warrior tribe well known for trophy head hunting. Made from very fine hand spun cotton weft and silk warp although it is difficult to tell if the dyes are natural or aniline, the cowry shells have an exceptionally finely toned aged patina and this the only Angami blanket that I have ever seen finished off with a pattern and tassels on both ends. This is a genuinely old cloth circa 40 to 60 years old, not like so many new but old looking, Naga artifacts now out on the market. There is one 3cm hole, and two frays on selvedge as well as what appears to be an ink stain as well as the usual pin holes. The colors on this piece are quite striking without being too bright and the shell pattern very simple and understated. L: 180cm/72in and W: 109cm/43in.