Neck ornament

Photography Carl Warner

Photography Carl Warner

Registration number
Item name
Neck ornament 
Indigenous name
biar (Lihir language) 
Barth Saien  
Associated cultural group
Pacific > Papua New Guinea > New Ireland Province > Lihir Island Group
Lihir Cultural Heritage Association (LCHA) 
Acquisition date
August 01, 2013 
Acquisition method
Donated by Lihir Cultural Heritage Association (LCHA) and Lihir Mining Area Landowners Association (LMALA) 
Raw material
cardboard; acrylic paint; leaves (Flagellaria indica sp.); cane strip; string
H: 880 mm W: 80 mm L: D: Circum:


Neck ornament made from a flat piece of cardboard in the shape of a turtle; long leaves are attached to the back of the cardboard and fan out around the edge; cardboard is bound to a cane strip frame with string; turtle is painted mostly red and white with blue, yellow and green. A round hole is cut in the centre to place over the head. Registration number 40670 marked with tag.

Research notes

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. The making of these Lihir performance items was commissioned in 2012 by LCHA for display in this exhibition.

Exhibition label: This headpiece [40669] also represents a tumbuan. The neckpiece is a stylised replica of a sea turtle. These neckpieces are used for a particular kind of performance known as libung. The designs embody creatures and features of the landscape: the sea urchin, the turtle, and the sun.

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