Issued on 01 December 2010
Papua New Guinea is known for its unique cultural diversities and traditions. The extreme diversity is reflected by more than 850 languages and a fragmentation of the people, customs, and traditions that is unlike any other country on earth.
One fundamental aspect of cultural expression is through traditional dances where it meaningfully describes wider cultural identities.
The performance reflects spiritual, social and historical values through chanting and body movements. Every tribal dance vary across regions, sometimes recounting historic events or legends and sometimes describing important event such as feast, yam cultivation or war.
Other dances can sometimes perform at night as means of mediate relations between human, supernatural and ancestral realms.
Among them, war dance is a popular subject of performance and is common throughout Papua New Guinea which reflects training, attack and defense.
The gesture and body movement demonstrates the use of weapons and the fierceness of a warrior.
Most war dances are emphasized by holding shields and spears or bows and arrows imitating combats as the body shifts weight.
The steps and patterns of war dance again varies from region to region; Some performed in a theatrical pattern or without observable formation while others are in square, circle or line formation.
Although Christianity has altered the style and content of dances and music in most indigenous cultures, these forms of art and practices still continue to exist among many tribes and cultures as the most significant markers of cultural and national identities. Such creative cultures are the pillars of recognition, identity and pride among traditional societies in Papua New Guinea
Today cultural dances build self-esteem and instill pride in both performers and audiences, particularly in the younger generations who are competing rapidly with the force of modernity and the changing world.
50t - A Warrior with bow and arrow (WHP)
K1.05 - Simbu Warrior with spear (Simbu)
K5.00 - A Warrior with spear and shield (WHP)
K7.00 - A Mudman with bow and arrow (EHP)
K10.00 - K10.00 - Tasman Island knife dancer