Highlands Bilum #1
Bilum, a traditional bag made from unique hand yarn twisting and weaving (looping) techniques, are an everyday functional carry all. They are an integral part of
Papua New Guinea but outside of the country, there is little awareness of bilum. Bilum in Papua New Guinea describes both the iconic string bag and the rhythmically repeated, controlled movement of the unique hand twisting to make the yarn and the looping of the finished yarn that requires no knots to make the bilum bag.
Made exclusively by women but carried by all, the bilum is a utilitarian bag that is both functional and an expression of the creativity of women bilum weavers. Made in a variety of shapes and styles and created for different purposes, it is a traditional skilled craft passed from generation to generation.
Bilum patterns reflect provenance, current events, and familial stories. As such, bilum bags are imbued with layers of rich historical, cultural and symbolic significance.
Bilum made by Rangda John from Jiga Mulgmana Tribe, Western Highlands Province, PNG
Bottom width: 48cm