November 2, 2015

2003 PAPUA NEW GUINEEA (Central) - Students from Kwikila at Port Moresby National High School Culture Day

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.

In ordinary days, men and women often wear simple aprons, perhaps with a bark belt, and generally leave their heads uncovered. But great attention is paid to everyone’s appearance during festivals, courting parties and weddings. Dancers, for example, need to consider how their body decorations fit with the group, although individual variations are also allowed. In the past, going to war involved wearing special clothing and items such as feathers and leaves.

Most of their traditional costumes are made from feathers of the bird of paradise which is one of the main symbols in Papua New Guinea and can be seen on their flag, and on their national emblem. Their grass skirts are made from bark of trees. Face painting is very popular, and a social rather than private activity. The patterns and colours used do not necessarily have a fixed meaning, but they are often referred to or remembered as the names of animals and plants.

Sender: Chloe
Sent from ??? (Papua New Guinea), on 17.04.2015
Photo:Sheldon Weeks

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