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To celebrate Vikings Live, we have replaced our Roman alphabet with the runic alphabet used by the Vikings, the Scandinavian ‘Younger Futhark’. The ‘Younger Futhark’ has only 16 letters, so we have used some of the runic letters more than once or combined two runes for one Roman letter.

For an excellent introduction to runes, we recommend Martin Findell’s book published by British Museum Press.

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  • Object type

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  • Description

    Register 1957
    Vegetable fibre string bag including pattern in dark brown and dark blue grey.

  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Dimensions

    • Width: 32 inches
  • Curator's comments

    Register 1957
    Vegetable fibre string bag including pattern in dark brown and dark blue grey.
    "called BELUM, used for general purposes by both sexes."Small label on bag reads: New Guinea, T.T. Sepik - Ramu, Sepik River, Lower or Middle.
    This bag is from the Middle Ramu area. It is called "au patuking" in Nekgini language. It is used for carrying vegetables, leaves. It is not used for big heavy tubers. Women carry this bilum on their foreheads, and men carry it from the shoulder. The brown dye is known as ropie in Nekgini language, made from a bark or wood of a tree which they beat or chew and squeeze from which red juice is mixed with lime powder to make the brown dye. Porer Nombo and Pinabin Sisau, Reite Village, Madang, Papua New Guinea, Melanesia Project 5 August 2009.


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  • Department

    Africa, Oceania & the Americas

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Object reference number: EOC22412

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