- Registration number
- Item name
- Chest ornament
- Indigenous name
- Associated cultural group
- Pacific > Papua New Guinea > New Ireland Province > Namatanai District
- Raw material
- clam shell (Tridacna sp.); turtle shell
- H: 375 mm W: 102 mm L: D: 4 mm Circum:
From the UQ Anthropology Museum exhibition 'Musical Landscapes of Lihir' March - August 2013, curated by Dr Kirsty Gillespie and the Lihir Cultural Heritage Association with Dr Diana Young.
Musical Landscapes of Lihir exhibition label: Kapkap/men's body ornament, mid- 20th century. The kapkap alludes to cycles of regeneration and access to ancestral power, distilling through their materials and patterns relationships between the land and sea, the living and the dead and male and female substances.
Revealed by maimai/clan leaders and warriors during performances, mortuary ceremonies and previously tribal fighting, the kapkap also indicate, through the extent of the concentric rings in their fretwork, the wearer’s social influence and the number of clans he may speak for.