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

🛈 Find out what you need to know before visiting


Bàeahago (man's dancing belt)

mid 20th century
collected 1969


Unknown Artist

Alternate image of Bàeahago (man's dancing belt) by
Alternate image of Bàeahago (man's dancing belt) by
Alternate image of Bàeahago (man's dancing belt) by
  • Details

    Place where the work was made
    Tari Tari-Pori District Hela Province Papua New Guinea
    Cultural origin
    Huli people
    mid 20th century
    collected 1969
    Media categories
    Botanical material , Ceremonial object
    Materials used
    tree bark, twill weave pattern in split rattan and black fern frond
    overall 87.0 cm length; 26.5 to 28.2 cm diameter; 12.2 to 13.3 cm width :

    0 - Whole, 12.2 cm (4 13/16"), width of woven belt at widest point

    0 - Whole, 87 cm (34 1/4"), length of bark (approx.)

    0 - Whole, 13.3 cm (5 1/4"), overall width of belt

    0 - Whole, 26.5 cm, smallest diameter

    0 - Whole, 28.2 cm, largest diameter

    Gift of Stan Moriarty 1977
    Not on display
    Accession number
    © Huli people, under the endorsement of the Pacific Islands Museums Association's (PIMA) Code of Ethics

    Reproduction requests

  • About

    The Huli is the largest cultural group in the southern highlands and society is grounded in the landscape of the valleys of the Tamari River basin. Myths describe the creation of the landscape by ancestral spirits and rituals link daily life with that of the spiritual world. The 'màli' ritual used to be performed to honour the clan's evil spirits that have the power to kill enemies in battle. 'Màli' is also the Huli word for dance, describing the sideways jumping of men with drums.

    'Màli' dancers today are still adorned in ceremonial dress that includes human hair wigs, layers of looped string aprons, woven armbands and a 'bàeahago' (man's dancing belt). The 'bàeahago' is decorated with a striking geometric zig-zag pattern known as 'gīlini gīli', which is made from plaited cane and 'yàgua' (black fern frond). 'Gīlini gīli' is also used around arrow-heads, axe-heads and killing-picks. It denotes the up and down movement of the 'màli' dance.

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

  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 1 exhibition

  • Bibliography

    Referenced in 1 publication