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Bilum

BilumISMAEL KUNNING

| An entry in the Crocodile Prize Award for Poetry

Wear it with pride, wherever you go.
Over your shoulder, over your head,
across your chest, around your neck
carry it with pride.

Mother to daughter, old to young,
passed on by hand, learnt by heart,
the talent within brought to life.

Hand woven, skilfully crafted, eye catching
Locally made, found nowhere else.

Made of strings, made of wool,
made of bark, made of leaves.
Twisted with fur, covered with feathers,
decorated with shells.

For work or for school
Back pack or cradle
Big or small, size fits purpose.

Dance with it, feast with it,
mourn with it, bid farewell with it
From the highlands to the islands,
the boundaries it can cross

Imprinted within is the identity,
that speaks a language
The language of a thousand tribe,
carry it with pride.

Bilum.

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