Lila Warimo is the senior most artist of the Omie people whose language is spoken by about 2200 people. She is regarded as a paramount leader of cultural business especially in the designing of tapa or nioge and dancing. She and her brother Rex Warrimo teach and lead dancers. Lila creates designs established by her ancestors. In this case the obvious meaning is the foot print of the pig. This has much deeper meaning however for the Omie people as a ceremonial, ritual and life sustaining symbol.
There remains a group of the first major female tapa artists of the Omie who have been a part of group and solo exhibitions commencing in 2006. Ilma is the first daughter of one of these women Sarah Ugiobari, a highly honoured artist. Ilma is using the oldest type of tapa design here, soaking the tapa in mud to be appliquéd onto the base tapa. This design represents a lizards jaw.
Honestmus is the son of Sarah Ugiobari a major older artist who taught him her designs.
Nelly is sometimes referred to as Nerry. L and R distinctions are often difficult for Omie people. Nelly is an Omie senior artist..
Josphina is the daughter of senior artist Jean Margaret Ho’ijo. Jean Margaret is now going blind and has given her daughter her fish backbone clan-related motif.
Didimus has taken the design of a Sihote’e nioge, the first tapa made with mud Aiha Roha’e. It is made for chiefly use however Dididmus has transformed it into a contemporary pattern using traditional colours in this simple elegant nioge. While once nioge was the sole province of female tapa artists Didimus is one of the increasing number of newer male tapa artists to emerge in the last couple of years.
Despite her age Bettrisha is a new artist and has made a unique design.
Vivian is one of two old senior painters from Asafa who teaches younger women how to paint, especially now that the most senior artist Jean Margaret is going blind.
Joyce is a new artist, inspired to paint by the new organisation.
Rosemary is a new and prolific artist, inspired to paint by the new organisation.
Anatasia is an emerging artist who has been taught by her husband Sixtas Kesi and her mother in law.
June is a new artist and has taken advantage of using the green colour soso, which is rare in tapa production across the whole Pacific. Only the Omie artists seem to use it, and mostly they are from the village of Asafa. Omie tapa often has ore sige lines that represent the roads or pathways people take.
Gillchris is a new artist so this large work is a considerable achievement. He is a senior cultural man and one of about 20 men who have taken up nioge design recently.
Jina’s grandfather saw this design tattooed on an older woman. He put the design onto a bamboo pipe, a cultural visual arts form no longer practised. Jina saw it and transferred the design onto nioge.