These big mortars are an essential tool in the kitchen of the Naga tribe. Every mortar is made of one tree trunk and is used for mashing grain. Read the story..
The remote Indian tribe, know as the Nagaland headhunters, used to traditionally hunt young men from neighbouring tribes as a ritual. They were not only experienced hunters but also specialists in wood carving.
In Nagaland, woodcarving is traditionally practised only by male members of the community, using simple tools and materials.
These large mortars have a typical X-shape and were used to pound the rice to make rice beer. Feasting the village cannot take place without the cooperation and contribution of the wife who not only did the bulk of agricultural work but she also has to pound the rice and brew the beer for the feast. For her contribution she acquires the right to share in the high status gained by her husband.
A beautiful object with a beautiful story.