Thursday, December 2, 2010

FASHION AND BILUM, FROM TRADITION TO MODERNITY, FROM INDIVIDUAL CREATION TO COLLECTIVE ACHIEVEMENT



Essay by Nicolas Garnier
Centre de Recherche et de Documentation sur l’Océanie
University of Papua New Guinea
Alliance Française de Port Moresby

In Papua New Guinea (PNG), string bags, or bilum in Tok Pisin (a widely spoken Creole), are commonly used by men and women to transport commodities. Traditionally, men carried small tools, tobacco leaves, and small items in their bags. In the Highland region around Goroka, larger bilums served as quivers for arrows. Today, men’s bilums carry modern commodities reflective of Papua New Guinea’s rapidly modernizing society. Traditionally, men carried one bilum, while women carried several. Large bilums were used to transport crops from gardens to family dwellings, or to carry produce for sale or exchange at local markets. Smaller ones contained tools or objects necessary for daily activities. In some regions of the country, bilums cradled babies. Like men, women have adapted bilums to the necessities of urban life: looping techniques have become smaller and tighter so that bilums have become solid and opaque; carrying straps have become shorter so that “urban bilums” resemble European women’s shoulder bags.
Read on here.


SOURCE

No comments:

Post a Comment