Naga describes a group of culturally and linguistically linked, but distinct tribes living on the border between India and Burma. Because the Naga had the reputation for being fearsome headhunters, they were somewhat isolated and evolved a distinctive material culture. They produce decorative ornaments, expressive wood carvings, and vividly colored textiles. The exhibition, from the Weltmuseum Wien in Vienna, includes examples from one of the largest and most important collections in the world.
Due to the efforts of American Baptist missionaries in the 20th century, the Naga became fervent Christians. However, their ancient customs and habits remain alive under a layer of Christian devotion. Originally assembled by Christoph von Furer Haimendorf in the 1930s, the collection has been augmented in recent years. The exhibition includes ceremonial costumes and weapons and large-scale photographs of Naga people.
Curated by Jan Van Alphen