A tribal show­case off the beaten path

Vil­lagers from the North Fly dis­trict in Western Prov­ince will gather for one of PNG ’s lesser-known fes­ti­vals.

Paradise - - Contents -

The North Fly dis­trict in Western Prov­ince will come alive in Septem­ber when it hosts the in­au­gu­ral Selkam­bang Fes­ti­val in Ki­unga.

Sing-sing groups from Awin, Bi­ami, Fai­wol, Ningerum, Yon­gom and Pari tribes will per­form at the fes­ti­val, which is ex­pected to at­tract hun­dreds of vis­i­tors from as far as Ol­so­bip and Tabu­bil in the Star Moun­tains, as well as nearby ar­eas and vil­lages.

The fes­ti­val or­gan­is­ing com­mit­tee is plan­ning the event for Septem­ber 15 and 16 to co­in­cide with the coun­try’s 43rd in­de­pen­dence day cel­e­bra­tions.

Ki­unga is on the banks of the mighty Fly River. It is the cap­i­tal of North Fly as well as the main ad­min­is­tra­tive hub of the prov­ince. It is the north­ern­most port town and the heart­beat of the op­er­a­tions of the gi­ant Ok Tedi Mine.

It has sev­eral ho­tel choices, in­clud­ing the re­cently opened Cas­sowary Ho­tel (coralsea­ho­tels. com.pg). Oth­ers in­clude Ki­unga Guest House (old and new wings), New Cen­tury Ho­tel and a num­ber of other lodges. They are lo­cated right in the heart of Ki­unga town.

The town is just a five-minute drive from the air­port.

Ki­unga en­joys a laid­back lifestyle and is one of the most peace­ful and safe places in the coun­try. Tourists are wel­come to see the unique cul­tural per­for­mances of na­tive North Fly tribes at the fes­ti­val.

The fes­ti­val was first held in 2013, but un­til this year it was called the North Fly Cul­tural Show.

It seeks to bring peo­ple to­gether to cel­e­brate their cul­ture, as well as to ap­pre­ci­ate and pro­mote the dis­trict, known for its most dis­tinct and most pop­u­lar form of gar­ment tra­di­tion­ally worn

by men from the area: the

selkam­bang (pe­nis gourd). It is pop­u­lar among the North Fly na­tive tribes of es­pe­cially Awin, Fai­wol, Ningerum and Yon­gom.

They wear selkam­bang and per­form the tra­di­tional dances with­out be­ing ashamed of re­veal­ing their bare bod­ies. Noth­ing is im­pro­vised here and this is some­thing you can­not find any­where else in PNG.

Tra­di­tional war­rior at­tire … young per­form­ers from the Awin tribe will take part in the Selkam­bang Fes­ti­val.

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