Opening times

  • Monday 11am - 4pm
  • Tuesday 11am - 4pm
  • Wednesday 11am - 4pm
  • Thursday 11am - 4pm
  • Friday 11am - 4pm
  • Saturday 11am - 4pm
  • Sunday 11am - 4pm
More information

Opening times

  • Monday 11am - 4pm
  • Tuesday 11am - 4pm
  • Wednesday 11am - 4pm
  • Thursday 11am - 4pm
  • Friday 11am - 4pm
  • Saturday 11am - 4pm
  • Sunday 11am - 4pm
More information

Opening times

  • Monday 10am - 5pm
  • Tuesday 10am - 5pm
  • Wednesday 10am - 5pm
  • Thursday 10am - 5pm
  • Friday 10am - 5pm
  • Saturday 10am - 5pm
  • Sunday Closed
More information

Opening times

  • Monday 10am - 4pm
  • Tuesday 10am - 4pm
  • Wednesday 10am - 4pm
  • Thursday 10am - 4pm
  • Friday 10am - 4pm
  • Saturday 10am - 4pm
  • Sunday 10am - 4pm
More information

Some of our museums are now running on summer opening times. To find out more, visit the Opening Times page.

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Object in Focus: No. 4

A Naga Dao

Wood, goat hair, cane and iron, 19th century.

This dao (or axe) from the Berwick Museum and Art Gallery Collection is believed to be from the late 19th century and was donated by Lt. Col. W.M. Logan Home. 

The object is approximately 80 cm long and is decorated with cane and dyed goat hair.

It belonged to a member of one of the Naga peoples, a group of over 30 tribes occupying a mountainous region of north-eastern India and north-western Burma, known as Nagaland.  All of the tribes are culturally and linguistically distinct.  The dao was used in expeditions among feuding tribes, for agriculture, house building and wood carving.  It could also have featured in a specific manhood ritual where young males beheaded an enemy either in a prearranged conflict or a random skirmish.  If a “head hunter” was successful they were revered as a hero and protector.

The spread of Christianity starkly changed the culture of the Naga; “head-hunting” was banned and traditional values were suppressed.  As part of this process, Naga culture underwent colonial stereotyping and they became known predominantly for their “savagery”.

Logan Home donated a series of items belonging to his father (a Major in the British Army) in 1950, believing them to have been brought back from north west India. In Logan Home’s letter to the curator of the museum he mentions further paperwork on the items being donated and states how he is finding it “increasingly difficult to keep these in a clean state, owing to no domestic staff”.

This artefact can be view by appointment at Berwick.  For more information about our collections, contact:  collections@museumsnorthumberland.org.uk