Omie Tapa

A unique offering of tapa, or beaten bark cloth, from members of a community owned association of all Omie people in the Oro Province of PNG 20 October - 4 December

The artists featured in this unique Pop-Up are members of a community owned association of all Omie people in the Oro Province of PNG. This new community group incorporated in March 2018 to give the Omie a newly invigorated start in selling their nioge-tapa to a broader audience.

Run in not-for-profit partnership with Joan Winter and the Babao Gallery in Brisbane, they offer tapa - painted beaten bark cloth - known to the Omie as nioge. With a selection on display from a variety of artists some with international reputations and others emerging, the range is truly diverse.

The Omie people are a distinct cultural group with their own language and a series of seven main villages and many more hamlets. With a population of approximately 2200 people, their tapa art-making is prolific, enlivening and transformative. Their region in the Mt Lamington Huvaemo, and Mt Obo foothills close to Kokoda is sacred to them as the site of their creation stories.

Tapa beating and design was originally a women’s art form. It was there in the creation story of the first man and woman. But the social and cultural ways of the Omie are changing. Now there is not only a surge of younger female artists but men also.

The iconography of Omie tapa mostly references the natural world around them, but the simple titling of a bamboo design for example can have much deeper esoteric meanings known only to the older Omie and through creation and other stories from the past.

You can find out more about the Omie by visiting

Or by following them on Facebook: @Omie-Tapa-Art-Oro-PNG-Exhibitions-and-Sales

LocationDate and Time
Caloundra Regional Gallery20 October to 4 December

Store available during open hours.


Courtesy of the Artist
Courtesy of the Artist

Courtesy of the Artist

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We commit to working in partnership with the Traditional Custodians and the broader First Nations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) community to support self-determination through economic and community development.
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