This is a unique Naga Brass Pendant Necklace with Yellow and Dark Blue Beads and Copper Spacers all strung on tribal cord from Nagaland, Northern India. The most striking adornments of Naga warriors are miniature trophy masks symbolic of their prowess as headhunters and worn singly or in groups of two or more, mounted as pendants or necklaces. According to Naga belief, the human soul is divided into two parts, known in the Wanchu dialect as yaha (the animated aspect) and mio (the spiritual aspect). When a Naga dies, the yaha travels to the land of the dead while the mio remains in the village. Abundant mio is considered beneficial to the prosperity and fertility of the Nagas and their crops, and Nagas zealously preserve the supply of mio in their village. In the past because Nagas believed that mio resided in the head, the spirit reservoir of the village was augmented by the taking of heads. Inasmuch as trophy heads represented the village's wealth, they were displayed with pride. Miniature replicas of heads were similarly imbued with mio, assuring the wearer of health, fertility, prosperity, and success in hunting. In the past, both men and women would wear elaborate necklaces and. Brass faces were used in some of the men’s necklaces to signify the number of enemy heads severed. These ornaments indicate head-taker status. The more head effigies, the greater the wearer's prestige. The mouth markings indicate that they were stitched closed to retain the potent spirit of the deceased. This brass head necklace is so very unique in culture and history. A marvelous necklace to add to your collection or display in your home.
2 1/4" long
2" wide across
Collected in the field, beads are distressed, but overall in good condition.
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