The border and the central band that runs through the nioge are orriseegé (paths/pathways) and provide a compositional framework for the designs.
The black sawtooth design that runs around the borders of the work are dahoru’e, the design of the Ömie mountains.
The spots within the orriseegé and above the dahoru’e are a design called sabu ahe representing the spots which can be seen on the sides of a wood-boring grub. This grub is sacred to Ömie people as it plays an important part within the creation story of how Huvaimo (Mount Lamington) came to be volcanic. It is a traditional sor’e (tattoo design) which was most commonly tattooed running in one line under both eyes.
The main design is mahudan’e, pig’s tusks, consisting of two tusks bound together in opposite directions with natural bush fibres and necklace strings threaded with suhine, plant seeds. Pig’s tusks are the traditional form of wealth for the Ömie and are often used for brideprice ceremonies. During dance ceremonies and rituals, pig tusk necklaces are worn by men and sometimes, although very rarely, by high-ranking women elders. The pig tusks have mouthpieces which male dancers bite, displaying the object to make themselves look like fierce warriors. In the time of the ancestors when tribal conflicts, village raids and retribution were an everyday part of life, no doubt this fierce appearance would have served a very important purpose.