On our holiday we retrieved some more of our things that my hap-hazard packing style meant we left behind when we moved. (One day I will be organised. Truly.)And one of those things was our PNG bilum that my mother in laws workmates made for her first grandchild. I love having things that are hand made using natural materials and time old traditions.
A bilum is the handiest bag ever. It expands to fit everything. As a shopping bag it will fit a weekly shop (if you can carry it...) As a beach bag it will fit four towels a bucket, spade, sunscreen, water, snacks, nappies, spare clothes and the kitchen sink.
And of course... one of it's traditional uses... carrying babies! I never got the knack of carrying my little ones in a bilum - around the forehead just plain hurts for me, I think it needs years of practice. But I love the way my babies look inside the weaving. We took the photo of our Sprocket in our green and white bilum when we were still living in Vanuatu, and the one of the Poppet in Cabooulture, Queensland. She's in another bilum of my mother in laws.