Ceremonial headgear. Brass, goat hair, red seeds, basketry and cotton rags; 59 cm x 39 cm. Nagaland or Arunchal Pradesh. C. 19th century. 86/7110.
Red seeds of the Abrusprecatoriustree adorn this unusual head-dress, probably worn by the chief or prominent warrior of the tribe. The U-shaped band is meant to fit exactly below the chin1where it rests covering the neck in a proud display of martial glory. The matted cane or bamboo ring-like contraptions, one of which is missing, are wrist-bands of a rather “sporty” warrior. A brass disc adorns the conical cane and bamboo hat that fits neatly over the head. Feathers of the hornbill – usually arranged in a semi-circle above the head – now missing, are final touches added to the spectacular headgear.