Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea Old Woven Bilum Bag

Papua New Guinea Old Woven Bilum Bag
Papua New Guinea Old Woven Bilum Bag

Papua New Guinea Old Woven Bilum Bag

This is a unique Red and Brown Bilum Bag from the West Sepik Province, Papua New Guinea. Throughout New Guinea and West Papua string bags are essential companions to men, women, and children, protection, and fertility. The flexible, looped net bags called Bilums are made by women, using hand-spun bark fibers formed into a strong two-ply string. In the many regions, men and women have separate roles in relation to the production and use of the string bag. Women hand-spin bark fibers and loop expansive, unadorned bags which they use in their everyday tasks to store and carry produce from their gardens and to cradle their babies.

Women's bags thus become associated with motherhood, nurturing, protection, and fertility. They are used for carrying all sorts of things, from bones to babies.

They are worn on the back, with the strap across the top of the head. When not being worn, they can be hung up as storage, or as a baby's cradle. An empty net bag can be worn over the back and shoulders, like a cloak. Women use the biggest bags to carry firewood and food from their gardens.

Babies may be carried in them and ancestral bones kept in them. They are associated with the womb, with birth and with death.

Small, tightly woven net bags contain personal hunting charms and amulets and are like the sorcerer's equipment. These bags are used by both men and women and are made in many different sizes. Some bags have ceremonial significance and may symbolize a person in mourning or a person who is coming of age. How a bag is constructed depends on its purpose, and different looping techniques can indicate the intended use of a bag.

They are also given as a Bride Price in initiating a clan marriage. This is old and though collected in the field, and in good condition. Some fading of dye on the bags. 17 Inch Strap 13 Inches Tall 12 Inches Wide.

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  • Color: Multi-Color
  • Material: Fiber & Feathers
  • Original/Reproduction: Original

Papua New Guinea Old Woven Bilum Bag