Bag - Bilum, factory made twine, figure of 8 knotless netting, geometric pattern, red, yellow, green, black and white.
CH classification INDIGENOUS CULTURES Melanesian & South Sea Islander bag
L720 x W530 x H10mm, plus additional length of fringe.
History and use
A bilum is a type of bag from Papua New Guinea. Bilums are constructed from a series of loops, twisted together, and are made to be very strong and flexible. The bag can expand to many times its size, depending on what the bilum is holding. Bilums are very popular for everyday use in Papua New Guinea. Some bilums are made of ‘bush rope’ and/or cuscus fur. Other bilums are made of wool or synthetic string, and feature brightly coloured designs and patterns. Some women carry their bilum with the strap across their forehead and the bag slung down their back. This method keeps their back straight and their hands free to do other things. People sometimes use their bilum to hold their baby, with the bag hung from a tree branch in the breeze.
Uploaded to the Web 27 May 2011.