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Sing-Sings of Papua New Guinea - Celebrating the Diversity of 7000 Cultural Groups

Ivy Gordon | Papua New Guinea

Paiya Sing-Sing. Various groups dance and compete for prizes and recognition

Large-scale song and dance festivals in Papua New Guinea are known as Sing-Sings. As many as 100 regional, provincial, and national tribal dance groups, each with their own style of body decoration, travel for days on foot or by boat, bus, or truck to gather for these annual traditional events. Sing Sings are based on traditional large gatherings but these modern festivals were created by the government so that traditional enemies could meet on neutral territory. The first sing-sing was held in the town of Goroka in 1957. Instead of fighting over ancient feuds and cultural differences, the idea was to get together and celebrate diversity and socialize peacefully. More than 50 years later these festivals are major events drawing locals as well as an increasing number of tourists. The most well-known of the sing-sings is the Mount Hagen Culture Show in the Western Highland Province.

Sing-Sings in Kanganamun on the Sepik River, Paiya Village and Mt. Hagen are featured here.

 

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