Copying of traditional designs on the rise, executive says


THERE is an increase in the copying of traditional styles and designs used by bilum-makers, on dresses, according to the managing director of Jaukae Bilum Products, Florence Jaukae.
Commonly known as Bilum Meri Florence, Jaukae said it encouraged counterfeits of what should traditionally be significant to Papua New Guinean culture.
She told The National that bilum patterns should not be used on clothes to make dresses.
“It is copy-paste, and has no story which will have any PNG cultural impact on future generations,” she said.
“When it comes to bilum-making, it takes effort to walk distances to source a traditional bush string or collect certain plans to make dyes.
“The weaving of different patterns on a bilum tells different stories and promotes a certain agenda, empowering a certain socio-economic growth as in the skin-pik bilum that we promote, which speaks of a woman’s status in the economic structure of Eastern Highlands societies.”
National Cultural Commission director Steven Kilanda said the Government would addresses the production of “counterfeit” products through the new cultural policy.
“The policy is (being) drafted with the help of the Internal Revenue Commission and the Independent Consumer and Competition Commission to regulate styles and designs that are misrepresenting our true traditional culture,” he said.
“Through this policy, we plan to pass the Traditional Knowledge Bill to make sure that any traditional art that is sold in the market has a significance to PNG traditions, cultures and customs whether it is bilum, tattoo or tapa.”