Mt Hagen Handicraft Group: Bilums galore

13 04 2011

Anybody out there looking around for bilums from Papua New Guinea. You need not look any further. Mt Hagen Handicraft Group is where you need to go for your bilums.

Just this morning I became acquainted with a link to a facebook page (OK, I’m on Facebook [or Assbook as my anti-FB friend calls it] but its all for educational, research and communication purpose. Trust me, none of that bubble-gum poppin, ‘oh-look-at-my-fly-ass-smile-at-the-camera shit).

Pardon that distraction but I meant to say I ran into the Mt Hagen Handicraft Group. This initiative  is a self-help mothers’ group from the Western Highlands Province of Papua New Guinea who weave bilums – those beautiful hand crafted bags – and sell them online with the support of the Baptist Union of PNG.

As highlighted on their site, most of the mothers in this group are struggling and battling with difficulties in their lives. But these strong women have come together with a positive spirit to help themselves and have embarked on this initiative.

A high portion of the mothers in this group are living with HIV/AIDS in their families and communities. In fact, within the Mt Hagen Handicraft Group is another group called True Friends. All the women within True Friends are HIV+.

As stated on their site:

“True Friends provides training, support, counselling and friendship for these brave women who have publicly declared their HIV status. No small thing in the Highlands of PNG where there is still a great deal of ignorance regarding the transmission of HIV/Aids.

HIV+ people risk being shunned by their family and clan and in some cases have been subjected to extreme violence.

In this context the very existence of True Friends is a major achievement in itself.”

And I totally agree.

This venture is a true case of people being self-reliant and it needs our help in getting the word out there to see what they are doing. Please visit their site and check out some pretty stunning display of creative handiwork and buy them if you will. You just cannot go wrong there.

I give them TWO THUMBS UP and plenty!!

A bilum from PNG



My Beautiful

2 02 2011

You have to admit Papua New Guinea has some of the most beatiful natural scenery you could find anywhere. God has trully endowed us with such a beatiful land yet we sometimes fail to see that. I hope this collection of photographs remind us of what we have and we might lose if we continue to disregard its beauty and continue to plunder it.

PS: Thanks Aiyah for prompting me into posting this. I had to make haste and get some of my Christmas pictures up because Monpi Suite just made reference to this blog, but alas. No pictures. So with no further ado, let’s get to it…




Nostalgic Mt Hagen Bliss

6 11 2010

I don’t know why but my mind takes me back to another lifetime.
Back in the day when Mt Hagen was like THE BEST place you could ever live in.
Back when Tribes Theatre premiered movies round about the same time it hit the cinemas of Oz – thats right Village Roadshow, baby.
Sony Walkmans were the IT thing then and teenage boys from the neighborhood would go to the movies not only for its entertainment value but to learn dance moves so they can try to beat each other on break dance (yes we caught the vibe before you even had the nerve to leave the comfort of your dad’s balls). But alas, they were doomed the minute Joe Markham moon-walked into the ring, because try as they could, he’d still whop their ass with his trademark spin-the-top finale. I don’t know what it’s called these days though.

Back then we would count our money  in factors of 80 toea because that was how much it cost you to be on roller skates for an hour at YMCA.
We wagged school to go fishing,
Or even go on some very noisy hikes up to Kum Cave, only to be chased and sometimes beaten up by the Solo Aks home bodies,
TV was not in our vocab then but we watched taped recordings of “Young Talent Time” at the tradestore/video-haus down the road and perhaps some of us, had a crush on young Dannii Minogue a bit.

Back then, we had our very own version of the State of Origins in the form of the Zone Trials. Just living next door to Bobby Ako gave me enough credibility amongst my dirt-magnet squad who swallowed everything I said hook, line and sinker, no matter how tall the tale. Except when Koivi (Ako) was there to refute some facts and we’d end up in a biff. The Kumuls line-up then was usually  read aloud first on the radio.That was when men like Henry Bagme would smash his brand new 2-speaker stereo to bloody smithereens upon hearing his name as the man who’d be donning the No.1  jumper for the red, black and gold.

Ahhh those were the days. My golden era.

Yes, but there is this tale told of a time even before that bygone era when a small kid round about 4/5 strayed onto the road after crawling under the gate. Just then a moustachioed man with a fro rolled up in his Range and got out of his car and knelt down beside the kid and with a gentle voice and  a tinge of a smile asked him where his house was and the kid mutely  pointed to the gate  in front. He picked him up, brushed him and led him by his hand to the gate and asked if anyone was inside.  The distraught mother upon seeing this man at the gate came rushing out more flustered this time then alarmed that this man would even bother to stop for a child. He handed the hand of the kid over to his mother with two K20 notes in his dirty little paws. After exchanging a few pleasantries, this gentleman left soon after.

Come to think of it, he carried the people  rather than the other way around. Such was the mettle of a man who was a leader in every sense of the word.


Of course the mastachioed man was Paul Pora!

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