UN Declares Traditional Woven PNG Bag At Risk

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‘Noken’ bag used as all-purpose carrier

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Dec. 6, 2012) – The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization says the Papuan traditional woven bag called noken is under threat and needs protection.

It has placed the bags on its List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding.

The noken is a knotted net or woven bag handmade from wood fiber or leaves, by people in the Indonesian provinces of Papua and West Papua.

Men and women use it for carrying produce, fish, firewood, babies or small animals, as well as for shopping and storing things in the home.

UNESCO says there are a number of factors threatening the survival of noken including a lack of awareness, fewer craftspeople, commercial competition and problems sourcing traditional raw materials.

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