Madang Festival begins this week

IF YOU missed out on the Bilum Festival held on Karkar Island in Madang Province last weekend, don’t despair. There’s more to come.

  • Staff Reporter
  • 05 June 2017
  • 06:05
  • News
Madang Festival begins this week

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The popular Madang Festival begins this week, which once again will offer an intimate insight into the tribal customs and cultures unique to the province.
The fun starts this Friday, June 9 and ends the next day. 
There will be the usual colourful parade with vibrant floats from the many communities, sporting events, canoe racing, kids' activities and stalls.
Organisers says that thiss event is a must-attend for anybody wanting to immerse themselves in the Madang way of life.
A quarter of the world's languages belong to Papua New Guinea and 25% of these are from Madang. No area in the world has such a variety of unique cultures.
Human contact with the Papua New Guinea mainland dates back 50,000 years and in Madang Province scientists have found evidence of human settlement near Simbai dated 12,000 to 15,000 years ago.
Over the past 6000 years, sailors originating from Taiwan have traversed this area, leaving their mark in the languages which are distributed along the coastline amongst the villages of this area.
Madang has remote mountain communities, perched on ridges among the clouds, river people with stilt villages, coastal agriculturalists and deep sea fishing communities from the islands.
Due to the relatively recent contact with the Western world, many cultures and languages remain intact and people are continuing to live a similar traditional lifestyle.
The artistic side of traditional cultures offer visitors a marvellous array of artworks and performances.
Sing-sings are regularly performed to the beat of garamuts (slit drums) and kundus (hand held drums) with the dancers brightly decorated with Bird of Paradise plumes, leaves and paints.
Bamboo bands, using the unique Madag bamboo base and guitars encourage more contemporary dancing. Village based theatres tell traditional stories and morality tales. 
Carvings of great variety and skill, clay pots, drums, bowls and kitchen utensils, bilum bags and weapons are still made in the traditional style and are available for purchase.
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