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Shoulder bag

Shoulder bag

  • Place of origin:

    Kachin State (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1920 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Cotton, wool, flannel, threads, dye, cowrie beads. Plain and supplementary weave, dyeing, stitching,

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Jennifer F. M. Horne

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Physical description

Made of three lengths of hand woven cotton (each 14.5 cm. wide) hand stitched together - the central panel folded in half (the fold forming the pocket of the bag). The folded side panels are finished in deep twisted tassels and extend upwards to make the carrying sling.

On a ground of black cotton warp and red wool weft plain weave complex geometric patterns of yellow, green, orange and pink in supplementary weft cover the body of the bag. Including traditional Jinghpaw textile patterns as a variation of zingret (handsaw). Further decorated with partly applied red flannel panels, tiny red and green pom-poms, strands of white cowrie beads ("Job's Tears") and luxuriant finely plaited red fringe.

Place of Origin

Kachin State (made)


ca. 1920 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Cotton, wool, flannel, threads, dye, cowrie beads. Plain and supplementary weave, dyeing, stitching,


Length: 29.5 cm, Width: 27 cm, Length: 104 cm carrying sling, Length: 15 cm tassels, Length: 38 cm fringe

Object history note

The donor's father was in the Indian Medical Service and this n'hpye (should bag) together with: a wrap-skirt (IS.4-2004); a head-cloth (IS.5-2004); a pair of leggings (IS.6:1:2-2004) and a bachelor belt (IS.8-2004) were acquired by her mother in the 1920s when she was in Burma with her husband.

Historical context note

This n'hpye (shoulder bag) would have been worn by a person (probably a man) of the Jinghpaw Tribe who traditionally built their villages on mountain ridges in Kachin State or northern Shan State in north east Burma.

Descriptive line

Red and black heavily fringed and decorated shoulder bag made by the Jinghpaw tribe of Kachin State, Burma dating from about 1920.

Production Note

Previously considered by the donor to be from Karen State it was re-attributed by Frances Franklin & Deborah Swallow in 2003. Further example see: IS.19.1987 & IS.149-1993


Cotton; Wool; Flannel; Thread; Dye; Cowrie


Weaving; Dyeing; Stitching


Textiles; Accessories


South & South East Asia Collection

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