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A fan made from coconut leaf which has been bleached in the sun.

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Fan made with bleached coconut leaf, pandanus and green wool.

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This 19th century headdress is of a type worn by men during special occasions. Coloured feathers enhance the beauty of the wearer. The birds themselves are the most colourful and visually stunning part of the lowland forest environment.

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These dance hats (30/1907, 31/1907, 34/1907) have been grouped together because they are fundamentally all of the same type with minute variations in decoration if applicable. These hats are composed of red plaited cane woven to form a conical shape. On each hat is a strap originating from the top to secure the hat under the chin. All the hats were donated by William Ninnis Porter and can be dated to the late 1800s, if not earlier, however, the exact provenance is unknown. Images of these hats have been looked at by Jamie Saul who recently wrote a book called the ‘Nagas in Burma’. He suggested that ‘the heavy cane work hats are also Tangkhul and form the base for the wonderfully decorated hats they wore for ceremonies’ (Pers. Comm. 2006). However, if plain they could have been worn for war. Hat 30/1907 has remains of animal hide decoration used to cover the strap situated on top of the hat. Hat 34/1907 is decorated with two plumes of red hair, which is likely to be dyed goat’s hair. Examples of different forms of Naga decoration can be seen in ‘The Nagas, Hill Peoples of Northeast India’ (Jacobs 1998: 222-227).

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This hat is made of red plaited cane, decorated with goat’s hair and feathers. This hat was collected by William Ninnis Porter and can be dated to the late 1800s. The provenance of the hat is unknown, and an exact replica of this type of hat has not yet been found. However, similarities are seen in the dance helmets worn by the ‘Nung Naushawngs’ of Kachin State, whilst carrying out the animistic ritual of the Manau festival (Dell 2000: 110/113).

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These dance hats (30/1907, 31/1907, 34/1907) have been grouped together because they are fundamentally all of the same type with minute variations in decoration if applicable. These hats are composed of red plaited cane woven to form a conical shape. On each hat is a strap originating from the top to secure the hat under the chin. All the hats were donated by William Ninnis Porter and can be dated to the late 1800s, if not earlier, however, the exact provenance is unknown. Images of these hats have been looked at by Jamie Saul who recently wrote a book called the ‘Nagas in Burma’. He suggested that ‘the heavy cane work hats are also Tangkhul and form the base for the wonderfully decorated hats they wore for ceremonies’ (Pers. Comm. 2006). However, if plain they could have been worn for war. Hat 30/1907 has remains of animal hide decoration used to cover the strap situated on top of the hat. Hat 34/1907 is decorated with two plumes of red hair, which is likely to be dyed goat’s hair. Examples of different forms of Naga decoration can be seen in ‘The Nagas, Hill Peoples of Northeast India’ (Jacobs 1998: 222-227).