India is one of the most assorted and colourful countries in the world, with a bewildering cluster of societies, workmanship and convictions. The Naga tribes, generally in the northeastern part of India and the northwestern part of Burma are perhaps one of the most interesting and colourful elements of the region.
This region is known as Nagaland, and the Naga have a strong tribal streak, even officially declaring independence from Britain before India itself! The Naga people have a culture very much all their own, and this is reflected in their fascinating lifestyles, beliefs, clothing, and the unique necklaces and beads that represent them all around the world.
Jewellery is only as real as the stories woven around it, I believe, and that’s why Nagaland’s rich tradition of accessorizing has always drawn us towards it.
Jewellery always has a deeper meaning in Nagaland—from individual, class and tribe identity to being used for self-defence. Both men and women are equally jewellery-obsessed with earrings, armlets, anklets, necklaces and belts. As with other tribes from the North-East, you can easily identify Nagas by the jewellery and traditional costumes they wear. Naga jewellery is made from a variety of materials such as carnelian and glass beads, coral, bronze, boar tusks, shells, ivory, conch shells, cowries. Orange, red, yellow, blue, green, bronze—the craziest colours go perfectly together on a single piece. Most necklaces are multi-strand and it’s perfectly natural to wear many necklaces at the same time.
These fascinating culture that slowly but surely is being lost can now be seen in the lovely Naga beads and necklaces, where the traces of the past still alive.