Central Asia, northeastern India/northwestern Burma, Naga people, ca. last quarter of the 19th century CE. An incredible pair of weapons from the Naga people, a tall spear with a double-pointed steel blade and a rectangular wicker, leather, and fur shield decorated with six cork-shaped bone carvings of anthropomorphic faces in a line below six monkey skulls. Below the socketed steel blade, the spear has a wooden handle with two large strips of stiff, dark-red-dyed fiber that is most likely goat hair based on similar items in the Pitt-Rivers Museum, Oxford (see 1994.35.2). These strips are wrapped around the shaft, leaving an area open for the handle in the center, and are bordered by woven rattan. The butt of the handle is also wrapped in woven rattan. Size of spear: 60.5" L x 2.75" W (153.7 cm x 7 cm); size of shield: 18.25" W x 32.5" H (46.4 cm x 82.6 cm)
The shield has a woven rattan backing with a frame of light, reed-like wood, and is lashed together with natural fibers. The rattan backing is exposed when looked at from behind. The front of the shield is covered with leather beneath the fur and ornament. The spear and shield are used traditionally in conjunction with a blade called a dao. R Size: 18.25" W x 32.5" H (46.4 cm x 82.6 cm)
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Provenance: ex-private collection of Jimmy Economos, Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA
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