India is one of the most diverse and colorful countries in the world, with a dizzying array of cultures, art and beliefs. The Naga tribes, mostly in the north eastern part of India and the north western part of Burma are perhaps one of the most interesting and colorful 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 lifestryles, beliefs, clothing, and the unique necklaces and beads that represent them all around the world.
Christianity spread to the region in the 19th century and as the Naga people began to identify more with Christianity, their own Naga identity strengthened in the process. Traditional problems such as tribal disputes and old beliefs began to fall away and a more unified life and systems of tribal practices developed.
However, amongst the sets of practices that began to fall away was their long tradition of craftsmanship, particularly jewelry. For what was once a warrior society, the pinnacle of manhood was the skull of a bested enemy, along with many other symbolic values and symbols that are rarely used anymore. As a result many of these items with symbols of the past carry high value among collectors and are of great interest both for their beauty and their rarity.
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 live on today.