What are Bilum Bags?


Bilum bags can be classified in many varying categories but the main classification is their place of origin. Their place of origin somehow determines the raw materials from where they are made which in turn affects the color and style of the bags.

  1. Bilum bags from the Highlands region

These are the most common types of bilum bags made majorly from wool. They are brightly colored and have a wider variety of color choices and patterns. This makes them more favorable for accessorizing more than just being a carrying tool.

  1. Bilum bags from the Gulf region

Bilum bags from the Gulf region are made from vines and animal fur. This makes it color choice a bit less thereby making bags that are dull and a bit drab. They are favorable for being carrying tools to go to the market with and are preferred by the men because of their calmness in terms of color. The color choices are derived naturally majorly from plant-based dyes that are purely natural.

Why Bilum Bags?

Bilum bags have skyrocketed in their popularity within PNG and across the world because of many reasons.


  1. They have aesthetic value

To many people of PNG, bilum bags are more than just bags. They are an entire generation of culture that identifies tribes or even clans. They are useful in almost all major events within PNG including dowry ceremonies, festival and even marriages. These bags are more than just accessories to the people of PNG across the world.

  1. They are a source of livelihood for the women in Papua New Guinea

Many women in PNG have had their try in entrepreneurship using these bags. Because of their popularity across the country and the world, these bags have a high demand that mean they will always sell out when made. There exist many success stories within PNG about women who fed their families using this form of art.

  1. They are easy to make, affordable and are durable

These bags can be woven and are made by locally-available material. Above this, the bags last for so long- sometimes even an entire lifetime. They have also in the recent past been embraced by men therby effectively increasing their market worldwide.

These bags are a darling to many and if you do not own one, take your time and go shop for the ultimate bilum bag originally from Papua New Guinea.


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