The Ömie, a small remote tribe of less than 2000 people, live on the steep, south-eastern slopes of Mount Lamington, Oro Province in Papua New Guinea. Surrounded by lush rainforest and abundant rivers the people are intimately in tune and inspired by the natural environment. Ömie tribeswomen use the rich and earthy palette of natural pigments and dyes found in river beds and surrounding flora.
Ömie history tells of how, in the time of the ancestors, there was a woman walking through the forest who came upon a spider. She stood mesmerised, carefully watching the spider as it weaved its intricate web. When the woman returned to her mountain village she was inspired to weave the first bilum, just as the spider had woven its web.
Ömie Bilum are a testament to the strength and endurance of the Ömie’s ancient, yet living, traditions.