A bilum dress for Nauru’s First Lady

One dress stood out among the array of bilum dresses decorating Betha Andamali’s stall at the Women in Business 2016 expo.

This dress is a full deep-navy blue in length, with a single yellow stripe across the waist line.

Interestingly, it comes accompanied with a lady’s bilum of similar colour, but an additional feature; a white star.

Smilingly, Andamali reveals that this has been woven for the wife of Nauru’s president. It is the flag of the Republic of Nauru.

Andamali admits the dress was promised for Nauru’s first lady Louisa Waqa last September, during her visit to Port Moresby with the wives of other Pacific Islands leaders during the Pacific Islands Forum meeting.

Lady Waqa had shown great interest in bilum dresses and Andamali promised to weave her one, but was not able to complete it on time.

This aside, Andamali says she has made bilum dresses for many other high profile clients, an accomplishment for her, despite finishing her education at only Grade Six.

It all started with her niece’s birthday, which falls on September 16.

Andamali would weave her niece a bilum dress to wear for her birthday celebration, which coincides with the country’s independence anniversary.

She developed her skill and has broadened her fashion collection to outfits that come complete with a matching hat and bilum.

Andamali operates from her house at Gordon’s Five, opposite the Australian High Commission, in Port Moresby.

Her urgent need is a big tent house to display her products at a good location.

At the moment, she is showcasing her products at the 2016 Digicel Women in Business Expo, at the old Steamships hardware house, Waigani.

Gloria Bauai