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Beads Among the Juang of India

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The Juang comprise a major primitive community in the state of Orissa in east-central India. Until relatively recently, they had a rich material culture. In particular, their dress and ornaments were very important to them. Today, only very old women wear beads and other ornaments in the traditional way, except on special occasions. This paper seeks to reconstruct the traditional costume of the Juang, with emphasis on the beads, and notes the changes it has undergone over the past 130 years. The findings are based on a survey of the ethnohistoric literature combined with active participant fieldwork in 1995 and 1997, among the Juang of the Keonjhar District in general and of Gonasika village in particular.

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The Society of Bead Researchers is a non-profit scientific-educational corporation founded in 1981 to foster historical, archaeological, and material cultural research on beads and beadwork of all materials and periods, and to expedite the dissemination of the resultant knowledge. Membership is open to all persons involved in the study of beads, as well as those interested in keeping abreast of current trends in bead research.

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