Sihot’e Nioge - When Skirts Become Artworks

National Exhibition Register

  • Dahoru’e –mountains
    Clarence Maire Warina Dahoru’e –mountains, 2018
    Natural plant and ash pigments on beaten bark cloth

About the exhibition

Sihot’e Nioge When Skirts Become Artworks 

Omie Tapa (painted, beaten, bark cloth) Art PNG

The title of this show has cultural and historical reference and does not diminish the sacred nature of nioge or tapa for the Omie people of the remote, rainforest mountains in Oro Province PNG. The Omie people number about 2,000. Their territory is surrounded by traditional enemies who to this day sometimes invade their villages and restrict their movements. The Omie are highly marginalized. 

The Omie origin or creation story includes the making of the first skirt or nioge. When the first man Mina told the first woman Saja to go down to the river, find the right tree, remove its bark and beat it on the river stones, together they were setting up the rituals that began Omie society. Saja came back to Mina wearing the first Omie symbol of their culture, thus sanctifying the first Omie community to develop.

In isolation the Omie continue to develop the most colourful and compositional diverse painted beaten bark cloth in the Pacific region. However they are still relatively unknown. Their tapa art is held in many Australian public collections but they are only now able to tour public regional galleries in Australia.

Their nioge tapa is made from the inner bark or bast of certain rainforest trees and all dyes are from the natural world around them.  In this show you will see the three stages of nioge development from time immemorial until today.


The exhibition is flexible from 33 to 70 linear metres as negotiated with exhibition fee flexible pending size agreed from $3500 to $5,000 plus freight pending location.


Up to ten framed works and up to 42 loose works pending on size require. The curator will accompany the exhibition and help to install given the unusual medium of bark cloth


Artists and Curator

Joan Winter International partner for Omie Tapa Art PNG ( Omie Cultural Business Group Inc.) Independent cross cultural curator Tapa art specialist

Group exhibition Artists include:  senior cultural leader Lila Warrimou,  Ilma Ugibari (formally Savari), her brother Onestmus Ugibari, the children of senior international artist Sarah Ugibari (no longer practicing). Linda Grace Savari, Jean Maragaret Ho’ijo,  Penny Rose Sosa, Nelly Haruto Keme, Vivian Minari Jivo, Sandra Durami Inura and other emerging artists.

Available Dates and
Exhibition Details

Available dates
01/04/2021 - 31/12/2024
Exhibition size
Between 50-75 sq or running metres
Originating state
Organised by
TA Baboa Gallery
Contact to discuss
Web Site
Accompanying materials available
Catalogue/Book, Installation Support Available, Interpretative/Didactic Panels, Labels, Public Program Opportunities
Other materials
- Smaller tapa, carvings and catalogues available for sale - The curator is available to deliver power point presentations and floor talks exploring the Omie community, where and how they live in remote rainforest territory in PNG and the importance of their nioge/tapa as sacred from the beginning of Omie time. - The curator can also facilitate further information sessions on tapa cloth and their reinvigorated role in Pacific nations, West papua and PNG and give audience members information on any tapa they may own or have inherited
Primary contact
Joan Winter
TA Baboa Gallery
0401 309 694
Omie Tapa Art PNG (Omie Cultural Business Group PNG Inc.)