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An image of Aenkiya nuw (plaited rattan bag) by

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

Aenkiya nuw (plaited rattan bag)
Other titles:
Billum bag, carried by old men
Woven cane bag
Aenkiya nuw (Cane-bamboo bag)
Haeriya nuw (Cane-bamboo bag)
Tog nuw (Peeled-off bag)
Place of origin
NipaNipa-Kutubu DistrictSouthern Highlands ProvincePapua New Guinea
Cultural origin
Wola people
early 20th century
collected 1969
Media category
Materials used
plaited split rattan, looped plant-fibre string strap and side seams

33.0 x 24.2 x 3.8 cm plaited bag; 54.0 x 7.5 cm strap:

0 - Whole; 33 x 24.2 x 3.8 cm; plaited bag, without strap

0 - Whole; 54 cm; looped string strap

0 - Whole; 7.5 cm; looped string strap

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

The 'aenkiya nuw' was carried by Wola men during dances and ceremonial exchanges, and was used to carry tobacco pipes and other accessories. It is plaited from fine strips of rattan, giving it a rigid form. The seams and
straps were sourced from old string bags obtained from female relatives. The netting required many hours of repair before it could be stitched to the woven sheet.

A new 'aenkiya nuw' took up to 11 hours to complete, and decorations might include an edging of pigs' tails, or lengths of plaited chain links, known as 'pubung'. This 'aenkiya nuw', collected by Stan Moriarty in 1969, has an exquisitely delicate surface with subtle nuances of colour and tone throughout the weave.

[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, 'Woven cane bag', pg. 260-262, London, 1988, 260-262, 292 (illus.). Detailed description of the construction of a Wola woven cane bag. NOTE: photographs on pg. 292 are of a typical woven cane bag, although not of as fine a quality as 254.1977

Tony Tuckson, Aboriginal and Melanesian art, Sydney, 1973, 49. H15

Natalie Wilson (Editor), Plumes and pearlshells: art of the New Guinea highlands, Sydney, 2014, 135 (colour illus.), 163. 78

Exhibition history (1)

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