Collection Online

Ukumboro (Waves)

earth and natural pigments on sago palm petiole
130.6 × 77.8 cm
Place/s of Execution
Bangwis village, Washkuk Hills, East Sepik Province, Papua New Guinea
Accession Number
Pacific Art
Credit Line
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Purchased through the NGV Foundation with the assistance of The Thomas William Lasham Fund, Founder Benefactor, 2001
© Courtesy of the copyright holder
This digital record has been made available on NGV Collection Online through the generous support of The Vizard Foundation
Gallery location
Not on display
The painting depicts river waves (Ukumboro), a popular subject for bark paintings, though different artists commonly depict them in radically different ways. In this one, the artist had depicted waves that get blown up on the Sepik River and other large expanses of water by strong winds. The black lozenge or diamond-shaped forms outlined in yellow and stippled white lines that run down the centre of the bark represent the dark depths of the Sepik River. The zig-zag red lines running down the two sides of the bark depict the waves, the concentric yellow and white semi-circles on either side present sandy sections of the river banks.