Kaaihwaarya (mourning necklace)
- Other titles:
- Necklace (worn by both men and women)
- Not on display
- Further information
Necklaces made by the Baruya people are among the most intriguing and beautiful forms of 'bilas' (body decoration) across the eastern highlands. Like all highlands societies, body decoration is reflective of a person's status within the community and certain items are given specific significance and meaning.
Particular necklaces were worn by Baruya men and women when mourning a dead relative. Some might include the mummified fingers of the deceased person as a sign of respect. Others, such as the 'kaaihwaarya' included small things belonging to the person. These items were wrapped in barkcloth – in this instance red cotton fabric – and hung in cylinders bound with cane and orchid fibre. The cylinders are also said to contain the scent gland of the cuscus, an animal associated with women's initiation ceremonies and marriage.
[Exhibition text for 'Plumes and pearlshells: art of the New Guinea highlands', AGNSW, 2014]
- Place of origin
Eastern Highlands Province,
Papua New Guinea
- Cultural origin
- Baruya people
- mid 20th century
- 4 pendants of grass stem, split rattan, yellow orchid stem fibre (Dendrobium), red machine wove cotton fabric, 5 yellow plant stem segments, wood pendant, plant fibre string
- decoration 17.5 cm length; overall 101.5 cm length; pendants 4.2 to 15.7 cm length
0 - Whole; 2.3 cm; length of longest bamboo segment
0 - Whole; 15.7 cm; length of longest red fabric pendant
0 - Whole; 4.2 x 2.8 cm; wood pendant
0 - Whole; 101.5 cm; length of cord
- Gift of Stan Moriarty 1977
- Accession number
- © Anga people, under the endorsement of PIMA's 'Code of Ethics'