Bilum – a unique gift from Papua New Guinea
Friday 9 December 2016 Share FacebookDelicious Email

The QAGOMA Store has a range of gifts sourced to accompany our current exhibition ‘No. 1 Neighbour: Art in Papua New Guinea 1966-2016′. Choose from printed tote bags, billum earings and wall hangings, books on the theme of Papua New Guinea and more.

BLOG-merch-bags-1All ‘No. 1 Neighbour: Art in Papua New Guinea 1966-2016′ merchandise available from the QAGOMA Store / 1. tote bags / 2. traditional weaving / 3..prints / 4. The Embarrassed Colonist by Sean Dorney

The Store also has a range of unique traditional bilums. By purchasing a bilum at the store, you are supporting BEPA, a non-profit organisation that protects bilum weavers from financial insecurity.

For centuries, the bilum bag has been made from natural fibres native to PNG. Strips of leaves, grasses or tree bark are battered and scraped until the plant matter becomes fibrous then dried in the sun. Once dried, fibres are twisted between the hand and thigh into a single strong yarn. This is a very time consuming process, a lot of yarn is required to weave a bilum bag and only experienced weavers  know when the yarn has been twisted enough. Colour can be added to the yarn by burying it in mud to get a variety of tones, alternatively fruits, vegetables and leaves can be a source of colour. Once coloured, the yarn is then made into a bilum through a process know as looping with a needle. 

Learn more about each bag’s individual story and significance with our instore guides.

BLOG-Bilums

 EXPLORE THE EXHIBITION AND INSTALLATION

DELVE DEEPER INTO THE ART OF PAPUA NEW GUINEA

BLOG-No1Neighbour_Opening-9

BLOG-No 1 Neighbour book for blog

BUY THE PUBLICATION

BLOG-Bit na Ta CD

LISTEN TO THE MUSIC

Bit na Ta available from the QAGOMA Store and online

‘No.1 Neighbour’ is supported by the Gordon Darling Foundation and through the Australian Government through the Australian Cultural Diplomacy Grants Program of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Continue the conversation online with #QAGOMA @qagoma 

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