Jean-Mary Warrimou (Hujama)
Born: c.1967, Gora village, Oro Province, Papua New Guinea
Language Group: Ömie
Clan: Dahorurajé (Sidorajé)
Lives and works: Savodobehi village, Oro Province, Papua New Guinea
Medium: natural pigments on nioge (women's barkcloth skirts)
Jean-Mary’s mother was Lita Numeré of Gorabuna village (Sahuoté clan) and her father was Michael Kokia of Duharenu village (Ematé clan). She is married to Rex Warimmou, a strong jagor’e (law) man for the Dahorurajé clan. Jean-Mary and Rex have seven children. She was originally taught to paint by her sister-in-law Lila Warrimou (Misaso), the Paramount Chief of Ömie women but is now a confident and talented painter in her own right. Jean-Mary is one of the few Ömie artists who paints uehorëro (her own wisdom). Accompanied by her husband, she loves to visit the lands of his ancestors around Mount Ömie, the first mountain, where the mighty Girua River begins and also where the sacred creation site of Mina and Suja, the first man and woman of the world, can be found. She draws much inspiration from her observations of the natural environment such as rocks forming from minerals in volcanic waters and the sensuous curls of fern leaves. The designs she creates are always loaded with a powerful relationship to her culture - to her people’s origins, her beliefs, customs and those of her ancestors. Jean-Mary is now teaching her eldest daughter Alison Hinana to paint barkcloth designs.
High Commission of Papua New Guinea, Canberra