Household Items

Bark cloth is used for a number of purposes, however, the H.I.T. team was taught its use in the making of women's basket, called ruai. In the process of making the ruai, the cloth is used as a covering for the woven portion of the basket, the handle, as well as the thread used to sew it. When used as thread, small strips of the bark are rolled to make them more like a rope or string. The branch is taken into the ocean when the bark is being removed because the salt water helps to soften the inner bark of the tree and helps preserve the cloth.

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Bilums are carried by all members of the communities and can be seen throughout cities of Papua New Guinea as well (see Figure 1). They are used by women to transport crops from the field to the home or market, by men to carry hunted game, by children to carry school supplies, and by all to carry personal effects on journeys.

Bamboo water bottles are used mainly for personal hydration when traveling. They are easy to make and are extremely effective at keeping water cool due to the insulating properties of the bamboo. A bottle can sit in the sun for a number of days before the water inside warms at all. The bamboo material is also tough enough to hold up to wear and tear.

The woven ball is used by the children of the community in various games. They are relatively easy to make and are made from the leaves of a palm frond. Most children know how to make these because they are simple and the materials are easily accessible. A completed ball will end up being roughly the size of a toddler’s fist. The total time it takes to make one of these balls is generally around three minutes.

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Amut rope is a type of rope made primarily in the Wain Mountains in the Morobe Province of Papua New Guinea. This particular type of rope is relatively easy and inexpensive to make because it is made directly from the fibers of a common cactus plant and does not require a complicated weaving process. The rope is used in organic farming at Pacific Spices and has proven to be a durable alternative to nylon rope.