Pacific Games Medal Winners Receive Traditional PNG String Bags

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Women in business welcome showcase opportunity for bilum

By Grace Auka Salmang

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, July 10, 2015) – Women have expressed satisfaction at the Pacific Games Organising Committee for showcasing the cultural expression of Papua New Guinea through the string bags – bilums – that are presented to all medal winners during the Games.

"Bilum is integral to Papua New Guinean life and is characteristically used, as a practical means of transporting everything from market produce to babies whilst exhibiting the intrinsic properties of an ethnic marker.

Women who are part of the recent Women in Business expo held at the Constitution Park at Waigani, National Capital District, shared this sentiment yesterday saying that a bilum is a memorable gift from PNG for visiting Pacific Islanders to take back to their country.

Bilum fibre production and weaving is predominantly a female artisan skill.

It is a technique based on heritage; it is an artisan works that is a cultural expression of PNG.

Bilum objects are created by twisting and looping fibre creating a strong textile fabric with expandable properties.

While the current export of bilum is low, and not well organised, there is firm interest from internationally identified buyers and designers for PNG high end products utilising the bilum technique.

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