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Saturday, November 18, 2017

***NOTE EARLY START!     9:30 a.m. Refreshments     *10:00 a.m.  Program 

Disparate Nagas:
How Textiles Define the Tribes
and the Peoples of
Harry Neufeld
Collector, Independent Researcher, and Dealer,
North Wales, PA & Santa Fe, NM

       Nagaland is a remote tribal district in the north-east corner of India, spilling into Myanmar.  In the beginning it was the overarching tales of naked Nagas and headhunting, and the overwhelming presence of the Konyak and Chang Naga tribes’ jewelry and costume that defined the culture to most outsiders.  Although Harry Neufeld had been visiting Nagaland since 1975, and collecting from that time forward, it is within the last twenty years that he has learned to appreciate the distinct regional aspects of Naga culture.  Since gathering materials for a museum exhibit in 2003, and beginning to travel to the most remote areas of Nagaland in the last decade, he has developed the understanding that geography, physical appearance, cuisine and many other customs vary as much as the jewelry and textiles used by the eighteen or so assorted Naga tribes. Appearance and usage of costume separated tribes and the people within the tribes, but much more than those trappings went into and still goes into the individuality of distinct Naga areas.

      By virtue of their marriage in 1974, Harry Neufeld had the rare opportunity to accompany his wife Tiala to her home and surrounding areas in Nagaland, where they began early on to assemble what is probably one of, if not the largest collection of Naga art and materials outside of the collections now housed in the Cambridge University and Pitt Rivers Museums in England. The Neufeld collection has been enhanced by invaluable access to information and obscure detail not available to others, by their knowledge gained in situ, before and since the state opened to tourism several years ago, and by Tiala’s extreme respect and affinity for her Naga culture and its customs.  Combining research based on ethnographic treatises of British anthropologists, more recent travel writings and oral histories provided by diminishing numbers of Naga elders, Harry and Tiala have tried to become as academically literate as possible about the old, traditional Naga culture, of which facts can be generously mixed with myth and conjecture.  Harry will be showing some pieces from his collection, and invites TMA/SC members to bring textiles from their own collections for show & tell.
Luther Hall,  Lower Level     St. Bede’s Episcopal Church
3590 Grand View Blvd.  Los Angeles, CA  90066-1904
                  Just south of the 10 freeway, and west of the 405, near the intersection of Centinela and Palms. 

Free parking.
Admission:    TMA/SC Members  Gratis . . . . .  Guests  $10

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