New Guinea String Bag – Bilum Bag – String bags, such as this one from the Sarakim Village, are widely used throughout New Guinea from the Sepik to the Highlands.
The colorful bilums, made of bush twine, serve as pockets, purses, backpacks, grocery and game bags, baby carriers and medicine bags. In the village homes, they are used to store food, clothing and other belongings. In the men’s haus tambaran, a traditional ancestral worship house, the bilums are used to store ceremonial belongings – nearly everyone in New Guinea carries a bilum bag.
This huge bilum, colored with grasses, orchid bark and natural and commercial dyes, measures 36 inches wide at the widest part as shown in the photo and 20 inches tall not including the strap – bilum bags do expand.
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