Jessie Bujava (Kipora)


Born: 1970, Gorabuna village, Oro Province, Papua New Guinea
Language Group: Ömie
Clan: Sahuoté
Lives and works: Birrojo village, Oro Province, Papua New Guinea
Medium: natural pigments on nioge (women’s barkcloth skirts); and bilums (traditonal woven string-bags)



Jessie’s father is the Assistant Paramount Chief of Ömie men, Albert Sirimi (Nanati) and her mother was Agnes Sirimi, both Sahuoté clanspeople from Gorabuna village. Jessie was taught to paint traditional Sahuoté clan designs by both her mother Agnes and her grandmother. Along with Ömie artists Lillias Bujava (Kausara) and Felicity Bujava, Jessie is part of a new and exciting school of Sahuoté clan painters whose designs are characterized by an excess of orriseegé or ‘pathways’. Orriseegé is most often used to provide a compositional framework for Ömie painting designs and it reaches its extreme limit in Jessie’s works where her traditional symbolic designs conform to a tight, yet organic, geometric format. She often paints siha’e, the design of the fruit of the tree and visuanö’e, the design of the teeth of the mountain fish.