Festivals & Culture
In East New Britain we have spectacular cultural festivals and ceremonies which are not seen anywhere else in the world.
In Tolai society, Tumbuans and Duk Duks are symbolic of spirits which form part of the rich tapestry of the local traditions and culture. These representations of spirits are highly respected in today's society. In this age of mobile phones, internet connectivity, and Facebook, it is the tumbuan and dukduk which still commands the attention of our young people. For those who have run foul of the law, a tumbuan at your doorstep can be a humbling experience. The Duke of York Islands are home to many of these supernatural beings and at special ceremonies they will be paraded amongst much chanting and singing.
The Bainings people are from the mountain. Legend has it that they were driven deep into the forests when the Tolais migrated to East New Britain from Namatanai on New Ireland. The Bainings Firedance is a dance which symbolises this event. It involves "çreatures'' represented by masked men who dance in a fire all night until the fire dies out. The dancers are trance-like and the chanting and singing gives the performance a supernatural quality. It is unique to this area and is a ceremony performed only on rare occassions. It is a spectacular site to see.
National Mask Festival
In July of each year, Kokopo hosts the National Mask Festival which brings together a wide array of cultural dancers. The Festival operates for 4 days opening with the spectaular 'Kinavai'. The 'Kinavai' represents the Tolai people travelling across the sea and landingon the shores of East New Britain. Commencing just before dawn, you will hear them chanting and drumming as they come across the water from Matupit Island in canoes towards their landing place at Kokopo. Cultural dancers from all over PNG including the Asaro Mudmen, the New Ireland Malagan dancers and many more perform over 4 days at the Kokopo Showgrounds. Tickets and transfers are available through us and we provide a courtesy stall for our guests to get a drink and cool off in the shade. So come and join us to experience this unique event.
Book early as most bookings are received many months in advance.
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