PNG at the Me­lane­sian Fes­ti­val

Paradise - - Contents -

The Solomon Is­lands has just hosted the Me­lane­sian Arts and Cul­tural Fes­ti­val, with PNG send­ing a big con­tin­gent. Kate Web­ster re­ports.

Iam face to face with Choiseul tribes­men from the Solomon Is­lands. Their pierc­ing eyes and red- stained mouths are enough to in­tim­i­date any­one. It’s rare to come across such tribes­men away from their re­gion, but here they are in Ho­niara, the cap­i­tal of the Solomon Is­lands, with thou­sands of other per­form­ers at the sixth Me­lane­sian Arts and Cul­tural Fes­ti­val. More than 2000 per­form­ers and artists from Pa­pua New Guinea, Fiji, Van­u­atu, New Cale­do­nia and all across Me­lane­sia gath­ered re­cently at the 10-day event. The fes­ti­val takes place ev­ery four years to pro­mote tra­di­tional and con­tem­po­rary arts.

More than 2000 per­form­ers and artists from Pa­pua New Guinea, Fiji, Van­u­atu, New Cale­do­nia and all across Me­lane­sia gath­ered re­cently at the 10-day event.

PNG sent a con­tin­gent of 150 to dis­play cul­tural per­for­mances, tra­di­tional heal­ing, arts and more.

Among them were the Amoora Ki­wai Cul­ture Group from the south­west re­gion of PNG (near Tor­res Straits Is­lands), the Si­assi Cul­tural Group from the Mo­mase re­gion in north PNG, and the Gem­bogl Cul­tural Group from the high­land re­gion of Chimbu.

The next Me­lane­sian Arts and Cul­tural Fes­ti­val will be in Van­u­atu in 2022.

Go­ing with the beat … PNG per­form­ers from Chimbu get into the rhythm of the Me­lane­sian Arts and Cul­tural Fes­ti­val.

Face off ... per­form­ers from the Choiseul Prov­ince in the Solomon Is­lands, painted and in their tra­di­tional dress.

Fly­ing the flag ... tra­di­tional To­lai dancers from PNG (above); a per­former from the Amoora Ki­wai Cul­ture Group from the south-west re­gion of PNG, near the Tor­res Strait Is­lands (right).

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