The Arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas
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Oceania
Abelam peoples, Papua New Guinea
Ornament, Kara Ut
Fiber, boar tusk, shell, pigment
Raymond and Laura Wielgus Collection
Indiana University Art Museum, 2003.169

When attacking an enemy village, an Abelam warrior placed a kara ut in his mouth so that the boar tusks appeared to grow out of his jaw. The boar is a symbol of bravery and aggression for the Abelam, so wearing the ornament in this way was believed both to give courage to the warrior and to frighten his enemy.