Carrying basket decorated with a panji horn, tassels and four small human figures carved from wood. [SM (Verve) 04/11/2013]
Place details: ASIA. India. Nagaland Longmien. Cultural Group: Konyak Naga Local Name: Unknown. Materials: Cane Plant / Plant Fibre / Wood Plant / Pigment / Animal Hair / ?Human Hair / Wool Yarn Animal / ?. Processes: Basketry / Carved / Dyed / Bound / Woven / Perforated / ?. Dimensions: Max L = 790 mm Max W = 400 mm Max D = 180 mm Max W [basket] = 295 mm Field Collector: James Philip Mills When Collected: 19 February 1934 Other Owners: James Philip Mills PRM Source: James Philip Mills Acquired: Donated 1934 PRM Image: Colour transparency copyright Heini Schneebli; Collections Digital Reference Photo 04/11/2013
KEYWORD: Basket / Status Object / Figure / Carrying Device / CLASS: Basketry / Status / Figure / Transport / ?.
Object description: Carrying basket decorated with a panji horn, tassels and four small human figures carved from wood. The four figures comprise a carved head and body only. The faces are carved with detail added in black pigment. Their chests are painted with tattoo designs in black pigment. They have fringes of red, black and white goat hair around the base bound on with plant fibre string. The two outer figures also have long tassels of wavy black ?human hair. The outer two figures are painted with facial tattoos. They have ear ornaments of coloured glass beads and coloured wool yarn. The central two figures have ear ornaments of red wool textile strip tassels and coloured glass beads. The panji horn is also decorated with tufts and tassels of red, black and white goat hair. The rest of the basket is decorated with long plant fibre tassels bound at the bases with coloured yarn and tied to the basket. Some of these tassels have been dyed with red pigment. The basket has a carrying strap made of white textile with a woven geometric design in red, yellow, green and black. It is attached to the basket through cane loops on the sides of the basket and the ends are tied together under the tassels on the front of the basket. A short loop made from a strip of cane is attached to the back of the basket on the rim. [SM (Verve) 04/11/2013]
Accession Book Entry - [Mills II] Vol. II. Specimens from Assam, mainly from the Naga Hills, collected and presented by J.P. Mills, M.A., I.C.S. (1934-1938) - Basket of a man who has taken a head, ornamented with small carved human figures showing tatu patterns, with elaborate ear tassels: tassels of fine leaf-strip, some barred red and white and a small panji horn with hair ornament. KONYAK, LONGMIEN. 19.2.34
Additional Accession Book Entry - LONGMIEN takes heads from both N and S KONYAKS: hence 2 types of tatu on the wooden figures.
Added Accession Book Entry - Collection no. 1934.82 .1 - .291. Collection checked, collated and corrected. L.W. Nov. 1983.
Card Catalogue Entry - Panji basket with carrying band elaborately worked in yellow red black and green. The front of the basket is decorated with 4 small wooden figures with tatooed breasts and (2) faces in red black and white topped black hair plumes below: also with a panji horn with with red black and white clipped hair tufts at the top and black, red and red barred yellow hair plumes below: also with tassels (bound at the top with coloured thread, of grass strip: some barred red - Carried by a man who has taken heads. The different tattoo designs on the figures indicate the 2 sections N and S Konyaks. KONYAK, LONGMIEN.
Pitt Rivers Museum label - Basket of a man who has taken heads. KONYAK. LONGMIEN village, NAGA HILLS. 19.2.1934. Pres. by J. P. Mills, 1934 [SM (Verve) 04/11/2013]
Display history: This object was removed from C.19.B - Baskets - Nagaland in October 2013 during redisplay as part of the VERVE project [SM (Verve) 21/10/2013]
Publications history, trails & websites: Reproduced in colour on page 186 of The Nagas - Hill Peoples of Northeast India: Society, Culture and the Colonial Encounter, by Julian Jacobs with Alan Macfarlane, Sarah Harrison and Anita Herle (London: Thames and Hudson, 1990). "Collection of head-taking baskets decorated with carved wooden heads, monkey skulls, goats' hair and fibrous tassels. Pitt Rivers Museum display." The photos are of the displays in C.19.B and C.19.C at the time of publication. [SM (Verve) 23/10/2013]