2017 Ömie Barkcloth Art of Papua New Guinea
New works by senior artists and chiefs of Ömie Artists, Oro Province, Papua New Guinea. This exhibition captures a special moment in time, with much of the art produced by pre-contact artists.
Barkcloth is the traditional textile of the Ömie tribe. Women wear nioge (skirts) while men wear givai (loincloths). Barkcloth serves important purposes in marriage, funerary and initiation ceremonies as well as being an integral part of everyday life. Ömie barkcloths are still worn today by men, women and children during traditional ceremonies which can involve feasting and spectacular performances of singing, dancing and kundu-drumming.
Nioge have been produced by Ömie women for gallery exhibitions since the cooperative was founded in 2004. Ömie Artists is fully owned and governed by Ömie people. Five Art Centres service artists across twelve villages and each of the centres play a vital role by ensuring that the ancient traditions of barkcloth painting as well as traditional culture remain strong and by providing economic returns to their artists.