Heirloom Beads of the Kachin and Naga
The heirloom beads of the Kachin and Naga - known respectively as khaji and deo moni - were discussed at length in British-colonial literature, but remained unidentified until the present day. The homelands of the Kachin and Naga straddle the northern Burma/Northeast India frontier. Safe from the great civilizations which rose and fell in the plains, the cultures of these hill peoples remained relatively intact until the arrival of the colonial British in the 1830s. The author's research reveals that khaji and deo moni are orange Indo-Pacific beads of a type traded from southeast India - probably Karaikadu - between 200 B.C. and A.D. 200. They were found by the Kachin and Naga in ancient graves. The trade that brought these beads to the region operated at a considerable scale. Ivory and fragrant oils destined for the Mediterranean world were exchanged for Indo-Pacific beads, cowries, chank shells, and carnelian beads, ornaments still worn by the Kachin and Naga today.
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.
Cole, Barbie Campbell
"Heirloom Beads of the Kachin and Naga."
BEADS: Journal of the Society of Bead Researchers
20. Available at: