Collection Online

Ow sama (Sago forest insect)

earth and natural pigments on sago palm petiole
123.3 × 69.0 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
Physical description
The painting depicts the ‘face’ of a type of winged insect (sama) found in sago forests. The insect’s face is depicted twice, once in the upper half of the bark and once, inverted, in the lower half. In each case the face is outlined in white semi-circular lines, each face given a recognisable pair of eyes (mi), and nose represented by the large black ovoid form outlined in white.