We acknowledge the Gadigal of the Eora Nation, the traditional custodians of the Country on which the Art Gallery of NSW stands.


Looped string hat

mid 20th century


Unknown Artist

  • Details

    Place where the work was made
    Okapa District Eastern Highlands Province Papua New Guinea
    Cultural origin
    possibly Fore people
    mid 20th century
    Media category
    Materials used
    plant fibre string, cowrie shells, bivalve mollux shell
    17.0 cm height, including shell edging; 20.5 cm diam. at head opening
    Gift of Peter Sack 2016
    Not on display
    Accession number
    © under the endorsement of the Pacific Islands Museums Association's (PIMA) Code of Ethics

    Reproduction requests

  • About

    The technique of looping plant fibre string is commonly used for the production of string bags, or 'bilum', across the Highlands of Papua New Guinea, however it is also used to create long aprons worn by men on ceremonial occasions. Looped plant fibre string caps are also produced and worn by women, the front edge often lined with cowrie shells which have been halved and with hanging pendants of bivalve mollusc shells.

    A wooden figure collected by Stan Moriarty at Okapa in the Eastern Highlands region, carved and dressed to represent a deceased female relative, wears a cap with three shell pendants, together with a necklace strung with nine large bivalve mollusc shells.

  • Places

    Where the work was made

    Okapa District