PNG's Cultural Wonders

When you travel to Papua New Guinea, you travel back in time. Dependent on subsistence farming and living in small villages, the people of this amazing country live life on an inherited social structure affecting matters from marriage to gardening. This lifestyle has remained unchanged for hundreds of years.


The Rituals

Traditional ceremonies mark social events such as the famous Yam (Milalala) Festival, which is held each year between June and August and is presided over by the elders of the village. The festival begins with the men carrying the yearly yam harvest to the village yam huts while the women sing and dance. The sexual rituals of this festival are what gave the islands the title "The Islands of Love".


The Artworks

In a country of four million people, 800 languages and 200 different cultures, Papua New Guinea is truly rich in diversity. The art forms of PNG are as distinctive as they are diverse. The artistic works of the region range from pottery to weapons and from basketwork to musical instruments. All of these differ in style dramatically from village to village. Many artworks can be purchased during visits to villages from individual artists through bargaining.

Artifacts from the Milne Bay province and especially the Trobriand Islands are world-renowned. The islanders offer beautifully carved walking sticks, figurines and fish and salad bowls, some of them inlaid with mother of pearl shell. Artistic styles differ even from village to village and individual pieces invariably have unique qualities. Weapons, pottery, basketwork and carvings all reflect their different origins.

Other handicrafts that make fantastic presents are the grass skirts worn by Papua New Guinean girls as part of their traditional dress. These are invariably beautifully decorated with amazing colors and designs.

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A Highlander Man



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