Papuan-Australian soprano Heru Pinkasova weaves the threads of story together to create her unique Bilum in this soulful cabaret.  

Woven by the hands of Mothers, Daughters, Aunties and Sisters, the bilum is a symbol of life, strength and story. A traditional craft that has become a cultural icon. When you sling a handwoven bilum bag across your body, you carry with you not just the goods that fill the sack, but the history of the women who created it and a space to store your future story. The Bilum Mamma is the creator and the user. She is a provider, warrior and source of comfort. She also is an artist, creating a masterpiece – something unique to be shared with the world. Each loop and strand pulling together the stories she has been told, the lullabies she was sung and all of the histories that she will pass forward. 
This performance by Papuan-Australian operatic soprano Heru Pinkasova weaves the threads of Papuan stories together through song, creating her unique Bilum. The textures and colours informed by and informing the songs of her life, exploring traditional Papuan chants, folk songs, PNG Top 40, and how their beats thrum through contemporary music. Join this Bilum Mamma as she gives, takes and holds a unique history, one ready to be carried by those after her. This cross-cultural production incorporates opera, new music, and animation weaving a story that represents contemporary Queensland communities of many heritages.

BILUM STORIES - Exhibition

Every Bilum has a story. What’s yours?  
Is your bilum just for cash, keys & cards or footy boots & boxing gloves? Was it given to you by  
someone special or did you make it yourself?  Why is it special to you? Tell us your Bilum Story!  

We are seeking bilum that will form part of an exhibition - Bilum Stories.

Post a photo and the story of your favourite bilum at, and it may be requested for loan in the exhibition in November. 

Concept by Heru Pinkasova & Little Match  
Performer & Writer Heru Pinkasova 
Director Lisa Fa'alafi 
Designer Penny Challen 
Music Director & Creative Producer Alicia Cush 
Textile Consultant Maria Wronksa-Friend