Display teaches museum visitors more about bilums


THE National Museum and Arts Gallery (NMAG) exhibited an array of traditional bilum last Friday to educate people about the cultural significance of bilum-making.
Loretta Hasu, the museum’s manager of education access and public programme, told The National that the exhibition, supported by the museum, the Goroka Bilum Festival and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), was to acknowledge people involved in bilum-making.
“We brought out 18 bilums which have never been displayed before, including some collections from the 1800s,” she said.
“A few of them have designs, of what was recently described as mountain design and skin-pig, through the Jaukae Bilum Products as well.”
Present at the exhibition was managing director of Jaukae Bilum Products, Florence Jaukae, who took visitors and guests on a tour, explaining the different patterns such as the skin-pig, fallopian tube, mountain, diamond and half-diamond.
“A blium is more than just a carry-bag as it has significance from the time it was made to when it is carried,” Jaukae said.
And each pattern or style has a story, or a fact about PNG culture, hence adding monetary value to it.”
NMAG director Dr Andrew Moutu, Australian High Commissioner Jon Philps, Japanese Embassy secretary Kieto Ito and UNFPA country representative Marielle Sander, attended.