Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Bags and bags of bilums

PNG is famous for its bilums. Bilum is the pidgin word for bag. They are a symbol of this country. The women make them out of wool, string, rice bags, even cuscus fur (tree kangaroo) and use them to carry everything: from their vegetables to their babies. I bought this one in my local market because I just loved the colours.

Pidgin is a language first developed around Rabaul by the early planters who needed a common language for their workers who had many tok ples (clan languages) . About one-third of the world's indigenous languages are spoken in PNG - over 700, so you can see the need for a common one.

Pidgin uses words from English, German and even Indonesian. It is a very simple language and is used all over Papua New Guinea. A lot of people frown on its use as they believe it has corrupted the local languages.

1 comment:

Steve Buser said...

Beautiful colors on the bag. Must have really jumped out at you