The Naga people of Northeast India consist of a number of distinct tribes with poetic and fierce names such as Ao, Angami, Konyak, Chang, Lotha and others. Though little is known about the origins and history of the Naga people, the jewellery and beadwork for which they are known to have been considered by many to be some of the most beautiful, elaborate ornamentations of any tribal culture. For the Naga people, their jewellery is not mere decoration they’re a part of the wearer’s identity and that of the tribe to which the wearer belongs.
Beaded necklaces are an integral part of Naga costume and culture. Each tribe has its own distinct jewellery. These beaded necklaces are thus both identity markers as well as indicators of how wealthy the wearer is. Typically, men wear simple necklaces made of a single strand of beads while women wear multiple-strand beaded necklaces. The more the strands of beads, the wealthier the person is. The beads have a fascinating story to them, with some of them being trade beads from as far away as Venice.