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This is a Telefomin bilum. These are not easily sourced as they hail from the remote town of Telefomin on the border of Sandaun and Western Provinces in Papua New Guinea. Bilum weavers bring their traditional styles with them when they move to new provinces, which is how we came to find this one at the Gifted Hands cooperative. It’s maker Sunware Kania has harvested the fibre from several small tulip trees and worked it until it is as soft as cotton. The fibre is twisted into thread, then looped and knotted into a bag, which would have taken at least a month to create.
Please note that this has a small mended patch the size of a 10c piece on the handle. It is common practice to mend bilums, normally in acrylic yarn as this one has been. Sunware has used cream thread, so it is not noticeable unless inspected closely.
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