Ömie Artists

Ujawésoru’e (Asimano’e, taigu taigu’e, odunaigo’e ohu’o ̈vinohu’e/siha’e) by Dapeni Jonevari (Mokokari)

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Dapeni has painted Ujawé sor’e, men’s initiation rite tattoo designs. Dapeni’s father told her how her grandfather lived in a guai, the underground site where he underwent his initiation tattooing.  

The streams of zig-zags are taigu taigu’e and would often be tattooed on the upper arms of boys for their initiation into manhood. The design is very old and some Ömie people believe that it may have originated from a pattern seen on a leaf.  

The curly ends are odunaigö’e, a climbing jungle vine with thorns and tendrils. The small diamond designs represent the fruit of the sihe tree. Sihe is a yellow fruit found in the rainforest and often eaten by cassowaries. In the time of the Ancestors during times of tribal warfare, the Ömie male warriors struggled to find food while they were in the bush defending their borders in the forest far from their villages. 

Title: Ujawésoru’e (Asimano’e, taigu taigu’e, odunaigo’e ohu’o ̈vinohu’e/siha’e) Men's ceremonial initiation tattos (Heads of men, pattern of a leaf, jungle vines and Siha’e fruit design of the bellybutton
Artist: Dapeni Jonevari (Mokokari)
Medium: Natural pigments on nioge (barkcloth)
Dimensions (cm): 129 x 54cm
Hanging device: Timber dowel attached (sewn on with fabric) with two wire loops on either end to hang on two screws or nails
Catalogue Number: 16-017

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