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An image of Kwiy aegop (apron adorner) by

Nipa, Nipa-Kutubu District, Southern Highlands Province, Papua New Guinea

Kwiy aegop (apron adorner)
Other titles:
Man's ceremonial lap lap
Place of origin
NipaNipa-Kutubu DistrictSouthern Highlands ProvincePapua New Guinea
Cultural origin
Wola people
mid 20th century
collected 1968
Media categories
Mixed media, Animal material, Botanical material, Textile
Materials used
plant fibre string, red and yellow pigment, tigaso tree oil or pig fat, plaited split-rattan chains, 18 pig tails, 2 animal tails

18.5 x 43.0 cm panel; 60.0 cm length, including 'streamers':

0 - Whole; 18.5 cm; width of oval-shaped band

0 - Whole; 43 cm; length of oval-shaped band

Purchased 1977
Accession number
© Wola people, under the endorsement of the Pacific Islands Museums Association's (PIMA) Code of Ethics
Not on display
Further information

This pig-tail-fringed apron adorner was worn on special occasions to enhance a man's appearance. Although acquired in Wola territory in the southern highlands, they were more common among neighbouring Huli people. The 'kwiy aegop' was worn in front of long aprons with the side straps tucked into a bark girdle. They lasted for many years and were stored in protective leaf parcels.

Tightly knitted from lengths of bast fibre, the size and shape vary from small and triangular to large and rectangular. The outer surface is coloured with 'dind hat' (red ochre) or powdered trade-store paint mixed with 'tigaso' tree oil or pig grease.

The lower edge is adorned with linked chains of cane and tassels of tails from animals killed by the owner, his relatives and friends. The origin of the 'kwiy aegop' is unknown, but in the past they were highly treasured objects.

[Exhibition text for 'Plumes and pearlshells: art of the New Guinea highlands', AGNSW, 2014]

Bibliography (3)

Paul Sillitoe, Made in Niugini: Technology in the Highlands of Papua New Guinea, 'Apron adorner', pg. 454-456, London, 1988. General description of Wola production of apron adorners with pig tail fringe.

Tony Tuckson, Aboriginal and Melanesian art, Sydney, 1973, 29, (illus.), 49. H10

Natalie Wilson (Editor), Plumes and pearlshells: art of the New Guinea highlands, Sydney, 2014, 127 (colour illus.), 162. 72

Exhibition history (2)

Aboriginal and Melanesian art, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 19 Oct 1974 -

Plumes and pearlshells: art of the New Guinea highlands, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 30 May 2014–10 Aug 2014