A Chang Tribe grouping
Lot 2001Y
A Chang Tribe warrior's full Dao set, Naga, India
US$ 6,000 - 8,000
£3,600 - 4,800
Lot Details
A Chang Tribe warrior's full Dao set, Naga, India


Sheath: The wooden sheath with metal bracket to hold the knife, implants of human hair signifying headhunter status, rewound cane straps holding fine leather belt of perfectly inlaid cowry shells, obtained only in trade with people from the plains.

Knife (Dao): Extremely fine woven cane-wrapped dao of iron with wooden handle and tiers of dyed goat's hair, streaked with red to denote the fires of headhunting raids.

Apron: a warrior's cloth fully inlaid with hand-cut cowry shells in rows and quatrefoils.

Brass Disc: acquired only in trade and signifying status of birth, wealth of warrior. This laid over the apron as a means of protection.

Body Cloth: a very finely woven indigo dyed full man's body cloth with human figure and double circles stitched in cowry shells. The more ornamented the cloth, the more power and status accumulated by the wearer. Red dyed dogs' hair patches, some worn with usage, denote fires of headhunting raids. The rows of shells in the top righthand corner signified sexual prowess of the wearer. Uniformity of wear across all inlaid shell portions on the back.

Sashes: two nearly matched finely embroidered warrior's sashes with concentric cowry shell circles sewn on. Worn diagonally across the chest in full warrior regalia.

Pair of Shell Earrings: unusually almost matched pair of chank shell warrior earrings incised with "mithun" horn representations (the mithun was a semi-domesticated buffalo-type animal which endowed great status to the man who killed one at a feast of merit). Such representations were only allowed to such men, or to warriors or men of high birth. Each earring has the full bamboo tube and split with was worn through the earlobe, with the string over the ear for suspension.

Tiger's Teeth Pendant: Original tiger's teeth, much more rare than ivory or bone representations of the same item; worn and patinated such that the natural cracking of the teeth has sealed over; with a fixture of spiral brass in the same shape as tattoos and markings seen on other brass items.

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