Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.

Bachelor belt

Bachelor belt

  • Place of origin:

    Kachin State (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1920 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Cotton, thread, dye, cowrie beads. Plain and supplementary weaving, stitching, dyeing, bead work.

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Jennifer F. M. Horne

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Physical description

Hand woven white warp and weft cotton.

Centre of the garment plain the ends decorated with deep borders of geometric patterns in green, red, gold, maroon, yellow and pink wool in supplementary weft weaving technique and bound in maroon cotton. Finished in long tassels of fine red braid attached to strung white cowrie beads (Job's Tears).

Place of Origin

Kachin State (made)


ca. 1920 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Cotton, thread, dye, cowrie beads. Plain and supplementary weaving, stitching, dyeing, bead work.


Length: 48.5 cm, Width: 20 cm, Length: 48 cm of tassels

Object history note

The donor's father was in the Indian Medical Service and this bachelor belt 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 n'hpye (shoulder bag) (IS.7-2004) were acquired by her mother in the 1920s when she was in Burma with her husband.

Historical context note

This bachelor belt would have been worn by 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. A bachelor belt was an item on which a young Jinghpaw girl learns to weave and in time presents to her sweetheart.

Descriptive line

Red and white bachelor belt with geometric patterns worn by a man of 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 examples see: IS.145-1993 & IS.152-1993


Cotton; Thread; Dye; Cowrie shells


Weaving; Stitching; Dyeing; Bead work


Textiles; Accessories


South & South East Asia Collection

Large image request

Please confirm you are using these images within the following terms and conditions, by acknowledging each of the following key points:

Please let us know how you intend to use the images you will be downloading.