17 December – 18 February 2014

Curated by Kikrulhounyu Pappino 


Opening Reception: Tuesday, 17 December 2013 | 5.30pm-8.30pm


The curator will make introductory remarks at 7pm


One of the unique identities of the Nagas is specifically inherited and rooted in museum collections, exhibitions and its manners of documentation. Historically, the museum took responsibility as the repository of artifacts as well as their displayer. The influence of the museum in shaping ideas is shown through this exhibition titled ‘Nagas’.

The exhibition is to claim that one possible idea of the Nagas is as a descendant of the anthropological museum. In a nutshell, ‘Nagas’ is a terminological exhibition, of a generic ethnic group comprising several varying tribes, as conceived in museum displays.


The concept theorizes the term ‘Naga’ evident in museum collections and exhibitions by using creative and documentative photographs of museums having Naga collections suited strategically for the exhibit. The aim of the exhibition is to showcase the value of ideology in ethnographic museums. It attempts to show how the museum-concretized term – through its artifacts labeled by the dominant collectors and the representational ethnographic museums, in text, catalogues, notes, dioramas, and manners of display - became an animated idea and relevant term for classifying and identifying Nagas.  


Text by Kikrulhounyu Pappino


Thank you to Mark Elliott, Kuku Christina, and Ilu Meru for use of the photographs. In interpreting the photographs visually, and realising the exhibition, thanks are especially due to the Shunya Collective in Bombay.  


Kikrulhounyu Pappino (Paphino) is the Art Curator for State Museum, Kohima under the Directorate of Art and Culture, Government of Nagaland in India. He has been working with this institution from 2008 to the present. In 2006 he obtained an MA in Arts and Aesthetics at the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. He was awarded a UK Visiting Fellowship in 2010 by the Nehru Trust for the Indian Collections at the Victoria & Albert Museum to undertake training in curating collections and exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum, the British Museum and the Horniman Museum and Gardens in London, Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford, National Museums Scotland in Edinburgh, and Museum of Archeology and Anthropology in Cambridge. He curated ‘Hornbill International Public Art Festival’ in 2011 and the Hornbill Literature Fest in 2011 and 2013.