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Old 28th July 2008, 04:53 AM   #1
Bill M
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Default Naga Axe

Overall length = 32"
lade width = 6"

These were used as agricultural implements, wood carving and war.
Comments?
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Last edited by Bill Marsh; 28th July 2008 at 02:53 PM.
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Old 28th July 2008, 07:35 PM   #2
Tim Simmons
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Looking nice Bill. Looks like a tool to carve up people rather than for woodwork.
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Old 28th July 2008, 08:14 PM   #3
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Hi Bill,
the use of hair/fur on many ethnic weapons (handle end) is to aid grip especially in the presence of blood, which is remarkedly slippery when fresh
Am I correct in saying that it has only one sharp edge (opposite to the rounded protuberance ) Nice thing

Kind Regards David
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Old 29th July 2008, 01:07 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by katana
Hi Bill,
the use of hair/fur on many ethnic weapons (handle end) is to aid grip especially in the presence of blood, which is remarkedly slippery when fresh
Am I correct in saying that it has only one sharp edge (opposite to the rounded protuberance ) Nice thing

Kind Regards David

You are correct about the sharp edge.

The seller, a private collector is certain this is 19th century.

It could be. Since many of these ethnographic weapons are made in the same way for many, many years, I have trouble absolutely stating age unless it has been in a private collection for a length of time. I have found that even objects pictured in old books do not provide absolute authentication it is THAT original object in the book.

In many cases, I have seen objects made FROM a picture in an old book, then the counterfeiter claims it is the same item, alluding to the picture and claiming that picture was taken of the item many years ago.

This is particularly common in African masks, statues and fetishes. Obviously this is much more common in high end, expensive artifacts than in most ethnographic weapons that usually command comparatively lower prices.

I have several of these in different configurations including two that are all metal, handle and head. Below is a picture showing one like the one in this tread. The picture was taken in 1873-1875.

In the lower left quadrant you can see a Naga ax remarkably similar to mine.
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Old 29th July 2008, 01:15 PM   #5
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I can't help but wonder if certain shaped dao were more common with certain tribal groups. I can't find anything to support that. I have a few pictures of dao and those carrying them but none are exactly like the one you have posted though several have protrusions from the back
The first one the only notation I have is dao from Arunachal Pradesh The second is a photo of an Ang and is labeled as Naga and Konyak
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Old 29th July 2008, 02:47 PM   #6
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Thank you for your replies and I ceratinly welcome more discussion.

I have quite a few Naga artifacts, including one large house pillar with seven stylized buffalo heads, three human heads and an animal.

I suggest a very good book on the Naga, "THE NAGAS, hill peoples of Northeast India" by Julian Jacobs.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listi...881/ref=lp_g_1
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Old 30th July 2008, 06:02 AM   #7
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Very nice piece, Bill. Looking forward to seeing your other Naga weapons!

What sort of hair are those?

Anybody knows the definite origin and history of the Naga axe?
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Old 30th July 2008, 01:51 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nonoy Tan
Very nice piece, Bill. Looking forward to seeing your other Naga weapons!

What sort of hair are those?

Anybody knows the definite origin and history of the Naga axe?

Will post some more pictures.

This is probably goat hair.

Still researching origins, but looks like it was originally an agricultural instrument like the Philippines' Panabas.

I have another Naga ax that was carried in the small of the back in a cowrie -- Nagas called "cowrie" shells, "enemies teeth." Shells were sometimes used as currency. They were valuable because Nagaland is landlocked and to get shells meant traveling through dangerous territory.

The first two pictures show this belt and Naga axe. This belonged to a wealthy guy, possibly an Ang.

The third picture is a rare Naga chest ornament with five heads (taken by the original wearer); the monkeys were animals that warned of approaching enemies and the ox or buffalo is a symbol of virility. It is probable that the Naga maidens lined up for this guy -- lets say that he never had a problem finding a date!
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Old 30th July 2008, 05:17 PM   #9
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Hi Bill there is a lot off new old makestuf (fake) on the market off the naga .


Try to get this cataloque the nagas from Grata Somare and Leonardo Vigorelli

this is from 1992 an exibition in Galleria Lorenzelli

Also working on this book is M. Alemchiba he is the Director of the Naga Institute of Art and Culture and of the National Museum of Kohima Nagaland.
He is also the author of studies on the history and culture of his homeland ,
being the most renown expert .


Bonid Behari Goswami has been the joint Director of the Anthropological Survey of India until 1991 and visiting fellow in the Indian Institute of Advanced study Shimla .
This guy is also known for his authoritative contribution on the people
of Mizoram,Nagaland,Manipur and Assam.

This give you an better impression on the authentic Naga stuff .

Don't Forget that the English people has been in that area a long time
the most real thing you can find overthere in very old collections taken whit them more than 100 years ago .

Ben


ps also nice is Art of Nagaland (the barbier-muller collection geneva

catalogue Los Angels county museum of art july19,1984--february 10, 1985

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Old 31st July 2008, 01:27 PM   #10
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Thank you for the book recommendations, Ben. I shall endeavor to acquire them.

I have a friend who lives in Kathmandu. He is very close with some of the Naga. He goes on regular pilgrimages to visit. He rides a motorcycle into the back areas and sits with shamen around a campfire, and discusses "old ways."

He is sad that the Christianization of the Naga has resulted, as it usually does, in a loss of heritage, a loss of their pre-contact culture. But if you go deep enough into the outback, there are powerful vestiges of this once great culture.

He is married to a Nepalese Hill tribe woman whose aunt is a practicing shaman. I have some of her artifacts as well.

I think that you are right in saying that many of the good Naga artifacts are in private collections, outside of Nagaland.

But, the bottom line in any collecting is that you can never really be sure that you have an authentic artifact. Even great museums have been fooled. There are countless examples, as well as other experts.

Usually I buy from private collectors, international art dealers and relatives of missionaries who brought pieces back.

Since I collect in many arenas, I can not possibly be expert in all of these venues. So when I just find something I like, run it by various of experts in my acquaintance, and if they have a good feel about it, I buy it -- sometimes I buy even if they don't like it.

It is ultimately my choice, as one of my mentors once said, "It is you who have to live with it."

But I rarely buy ethnographic pieces as "investments." My investments are in commercial real estate, and there, perhaps only there, I am the expert.

This gives me the time and funding to indulge in my hobby -- my passion -- for art as I see it.
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Old 31st July 2008, 01:44 PM   #11
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Ben,

Have been searching for the books and catalogs you have so kindly mentioned. Is this one of them?

SOMARÉ,GRATA & LEONARDO VIGORELLI. "The Nagas. Disciplined Forms of Beauty." Bergamo, 1992. 206 pp. Col. & b./w. ills. Stiff soft cover.

Is M. Alemchiba also written in this book? Or another book? If in another book, do you have a title of his book.

I have searched for Bonid Behari Goswam, but found nothing on Google. Do you have any book titles for him?

Kind regards,
Bill
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Old 31st July 2008, 02:58 PM   #12
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Hi Bill those 2 work on the cataloque this is the one I mean buy it fast if you can this one very hard to get .

And books are an good investment too Bill

Ben
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Old 31st July 2008, 05:29 PM   #13
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Ben,

Just ordered the book. Thank you again for your expert help!!!!

Kind regards,
Bill

I'll post some more Naga pieces. Here is a Naga house pillar. It is about 11' by 3'6" and about a foot thick. It commemorates a SEVEN buffalo festival/ritual/feast. This was a huge event.

As you can see in my picture of a Naga house, in Tangkhul Chinjaroi village, most were only four buffalo events.

I had to cut an opening in my 10' ceiling to get it in place.
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Old 31st July 2008, 05:37 PM   #14
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An archaic ax from the Kalyo-Kangyu Naga tribe. Heavy ax and shaft cover are made from one piece of iron that has a wooden core.

The head is facetted to one side and flat on the other, the neck and length of the shaft is incised with linear geometric shapes.

Photograph is from 1873. I have not seen any of these later than 1900.
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Last edited by Bill Marsh; 1st August 2008 at 02:13 AM.
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Old 31st July 2008, 07:27 PM   #15
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This is an nice axe Bill to me much better than the first one .

And gratulations that you get the catalogue an rare find

I did sell my big Naga collection in 2003 it is nice to see some one start collecting it . ( I only keep one brass piece but it is not an weapon)

Ben
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Old 31st July 2008, 09:53 PM   #16
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Thank you Ben, did not know that you had been a Naga collector. I greatly respect your knowledge and expertise. When you recommend a book, i usually get it if I can find it.

Here is another Naga dao similar to the last ax.
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Old 1st August 2008, 06:14 AM   #17
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Does anyone know if the Naga axe (metal blade) been in existence before the 19th century, or is it an "early" object (i.e. 19th century) creation/introduction?
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Old 15th August 2008, 02:26 AM   #18
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Ben,

The book you recommended arrived today and it is magnificent! Great pictures and information.


THE NAGAS: DISCIPLINED FORMS OF BEAUTY. SOMARE' E VIGORELLI


Thank you so very much.
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Old 17th August 2008, 09:40 AM   #19
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Hi Bill nice you like it when I am back from Bali I will search in my Library
I must have more great books off the Naga's .

I see you have an nice collection naga stuff.

Ben
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Old 17th August 2008, 07:06 PM   #20
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Bill, I love the archaic axe, it is my favorite form - you said it has a wood core - is the rest metal too?
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