Indiana University Indiana University IU

Culture Abelam
Title Ornament (Kara Ut)
Date 20th century
Medium Fiber, boar tusks, cowrie shells, and and nassa shells
Dimensions Object: 11 3/4 × 3 7/8 × 2 in. (29.8 × 9.8 × 5.1 cm)
Overall (includes mount): 12 1/4 × 3 7/8 × 2 in. (31.1 × 9.8 × 5.1 cm)
Credit Line Raymond and Laura Wielgus Collection, Eskenazi Museum of Art, Indiana University
Accession Number 2003.169

Share this artwork!

About this Work

Known as kara ut, kara meaning boar and ut being a net bag, the name of the object refers to the method of its construction and materials, as well as the association from which some of its power derives.

During warfare, an Abelam warrior would place the kara ut in his mouth, creating the effect that the boar’s tusks appeared to be growing out of his own mouth. Boars hold an important place in Abelam culture, representing both bravery and aggression. It was thought that the wearing of this ornament during battle would both frighten the enemy and inspire courage in the warrior.

Provenance research is ongoing for this and many other items in the Eskenazi Museum of Art permanent collection. For more information about the provenance of this artwork, please contact the department curator with specific questions.

Viewing Information
This artwork is currently on view.


Request this Image
The Eskenazi Museum of Art provides images of its collection, free of charge, upon request. This artwork is under copyright protection. You can request the image and it will be emailed to you when the request is complete.

Cite this Page
"Ornament | Collections Online." Collections Online. Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art, Indiana University, 2024.