FASHION The „Bilum“ Miracle …

Posted by on 20. April 2017

Bilum

A nice original one ...

Bilum

… and a Papu lady, using a huge one!

IF YOU LOOK UP „BILUM“ in the Internet, you will be rewarded with hundreds of posts, showing  colorful woven pouches in all sizes. And I tell you: They have almost nothing to do with the „Bilum“ I know, the traditional transportation pouch of the tribes in Papua-New Guinea. Only the name was adopted. It’s a piece of traditional art, made by hand, dyed with natural colors, extracted from plants, and woven knot by knot for (sometimes) many weeks. The „Bilum“ of the West, the fashionable ones, are machine-knit, dyed with chemical colors and cheap. The original „Bilum“ is extravagantly expensive, on my last visit to PNG, I confess, I couldn’t afford one, a real one from the villages, because the asking price of the cheapest I was offered showed three digits in US-dollar: at lest 100! But I saw bigger ones for 250 dollar – for a simple looking net, made of wool threads or palm fiber. Well, they explained, it takes so long to knit one and many days to dye them. And they last life-long, being practically indestructible. I saw antique ones in a market in Port Moresby, advertised as „century old museum pieces“, for 800 US-dollar! Folks, I kept my things in a plastic bag, a give-away of the „Bird of Paradise“ brewery …

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