A fine example of the warrior’s cap from remote tribal areas in North Eastern India, woven of rattan strips, which now have acquired a lovely patinated sheen. The hat features a Hornbill beak segment and another unidentified bird.

The Nyishi is one of the major tribes which inhabit as many as five districts viz-Upper Subansiri, Lower Subansiri, Kurung Kumey, Papum Pare, East Kameng and in some parts of west Kameng of Arunachal Pradesh including Sonitpur and North Lakhimpur districts of Assam. The people basically belong to Paleo-Mongoloid stock and speak the Tibeto-Burmese group of language. They are the descendants of Abo Tani-a mythical forefather. It is believed that they migrated from, the north via present autonomy state of Tibet in the beginning of the Christian era. Historically, culturally and even in terms of language the Nyishis have a close affinity with the neighbouring tribes such as Galos, Adis, Apatanis, Tagins, and the Mishings of adjoining Assam. The term ‘NYISHI’ is derived from two words Nyi means man or human race that descended from Atu Nyia Tani (son of Abo Tani- a first real man on earth) and Ishi – means hills or highland. Therefore, a compound word ‘Nyishi’ denotes the descendants of Atu Nyia Tani who dwell in the highland. This is the reason they are called highlanders.

The oral sources aptly mention that the Nyishis had migrated from the north. They referred the crossing of a mighty river named Supung, which probably might be a river Tsangpo in China. Oral source revealed that they left the place and migrated towards present territory before the advent of Buddhism in China and Tibet. This is fact that Buddhism has no influence on Nyishis. After crossing the high ridges corresponding to the international boundary, they moved towards different directions in batches or small groups precisely on the basis of lineage and clan. This is why they spread over five different districts in the central belt of the state. The Nyishi were already there in the hills and peripheral of the plain land in Assam prior to their arrival.


PERIOD: 19th Century
CONDITION: Good. Bird has had some losses over time. Please see pictures..
WEAR: Wear consistent with age and use
HEIGHT: 5.5 in. (14 cm)
WIDTH: 9.5 in. (24 cm)
DEPTH: 6 in. (15 cm)
Weight .196 kg