Festival hopes to preserve culture of weaving traditional bilums

Momase

By JACKLYN SIRIAS
AS a means to preserve the culture of bilum weaving, a traditional group in East Sepik has decided to have a festival to encourage young girls and women to continue the practice.
Chairman of the Ambunti Bilum Festival Felix Suaimbau said because of modernisation, many young women have lost the skill of bilum weaving.
“We will be featuring mainly the 10 specific bilums from our Kwoma Nukna tribe in Ambunti district that are made from traditional materials and not manufactured,” he said.
Suaimbau said the two-day festival will be from Aug 7-8 with participants coming from Ambunti and Maprik.
He said the event would include singsing groups, competition involving traditional rituals and practices and a display of the 10 different traditional bilums from each local level governments.
“We will have people showing how bilums are made with ropes from the bark of trees,” he said, adding that they would be using the bark from a number of trees, including the noni plant.
The festival would be the first of its kind in the area.
Suaimbau said they have registered the festival organisation under the provincial Tourism Promotion Authority and had participated in a number of tourism activities in the province over the past two years.

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