Nicobar Islands Banners

Flag or banner from the Nicobar Islands, acquired in 2004. Flag or banner from the Nicobar Islands, acquired in 2004. Copyright Trustees of the British Museum, acc. no. As2004,Q.9.

The Nicobar Islands form an archipelago in the eastern Indian Ocean. They lie about 150 km north of Aceh on the island of Sumatra (Indonesia). Although they lie about 1,300 km southeast of the Indian subcontinent, the Nicobar Islands, together with the Andaman Islands, form the Union Territory of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, which, since 1950, have come under the jurisdiction of India.

The Nicobar Islands are not famous for their embroideries, but they do have a series of banners (or flags) that are usually made from white cotton, with appliqué and embroidered designs. There are several examples of these flags in the British Museum, London, including one (acc. no. As2004,Q.9), which has an appliqué tree, crescent moon and sun, all worked in red cloth, as well as letters (either Nicobarese or Oriya script) worked in a chain stitch, again using a red coloured thread. At the ends of the two points of the flag are small cloth tassels. It is 160 x 110 cm in size.

British Museum online catalogue (retrieved 8th June 2016).


Last modified on Wednesday, 22 August 2018 17:24