Her work has also appeared in the Queensland Gallery of Modern Art exhibition Threads Contemporary Textiles and the Social Fabric.
“I was taught how to weave Bilum when I was 6-7 years old, now I own Jaukae Bilum Products, which I started in 2002.
This specializes in marketing Bilum products, providing Bilum training for Bilum Weavers in PNG Communities, and finding retail markets for Bilum Weavers.”
FJK also started the Goroka Bilum Festival in 2009, to celebrate and honour the traditional, ancient skill of Bilum weaving.
The festival also acts as a trade expo for Bilum Weavers from all over Papua New Guinea, who travel to Goroka to sell their Bilums.
Each Bilum tells a different story and is a ‘book’ of stories of the Women who weave them, not just their personal experiences but collective history.
“Another important point of the festival is data collection. I collect and record the stories behind each of the designs, working closely with the JK McCarthy Museum in Goroka.
There’s also nightly cultural events with dances, fashion shows, performances and local food cooking.”
…sounds like a place where we all want to be! Goroka Bilum Festival 2024.