Today there over seven (7) million people living in Papua New Guinea – more than a third of them in the rugged Highlands. The traditional Melanesian cultures are kept alive in elaborate rituals that accompany deaths, feasts, marriages, compensation ceremonies and initiation rites.
The culture of Papua New Guinea is many-sided and complex. It is estimated that more than 7000 different cultural groups exist in Papua New Guinea, and most groups have their own language. Because of this diversity, in which they take pride, many different styles of cultural expression have emerged; each group has created its own expressive forms in art, dance, weaponry, costumes, singing, music, architecture and much more. To unify the nation, the language Tok Pisin, once called Neo-Melanesian (or Pidgin English) has evolved as the lingua franca — the medium through which diverse language groups are able to communicate with one another in Parliament, in the news media, and elsewhere. People typically live in villages or dispersed hamlets which rely on the subsistence farming of yams sweet potato and taro. The principal livestock in traditional Papua New Guinea is the oceanic pig (Pork)
On the Sepik River, there is a world-renowned tradition of wood carving. These carvers create forms of plants or animals, because they believe these are their ancestor beings and because they feel they are beautiful. They also create traditional skull portraits. Also well represented in the collections of museums around the world is the Malagan art tradition of New Ireland.Gunn, Michael; Phillipe Feltier (2006). New Ireland: Art of the South Pacific. Milan: Continents Editions. ISBN 88-7439-369-5.
Even though sea shells are no longer the currency of Papua New Guinea – sea shells were abolished as currency in 1933 – this heritage is still present in local customs. In certain parts of the country a groom must bring a bride price to the wedding ceremony. In some cases this is paid in golden-edged clam shells.In other areas, a dowry is payable rather than bride price. These payments may take the form of shell money, food, pigs, cash, or other goods. In some parts of the New Guinea highlands, people engage in colorful local rituals that are called “sing-sings”. They paint themselves and dress up with feathers, pearls and animal skins to represent birds, trees or mountain spirits. Sometimes an important event, such as a legendary battle, would be enacted at such a musical festival.More click here
There are cultural festival which aren’t to be missed every year. Below is a book written about how Papua New Guinean women live and play a role in their society compare to modern women. Its on sale on amazon with 5 left to GO!!
Papua New Guinea Perfect Paperback – July 1, 2012.
Price $31.95 Click here to buy
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