The Tufi Tapa and Tattoo Festival was initially launched in 2006 by Davidson Yariyari, former Member of Cape Nelson Constituency in the then Oro Provincial government and only ran for the years 2006 and 2007.
Since then, the show had not continued due to some funding constraints until it was relaunched by current MP Richard Masere in 2018.
This year’s Festival was officially opened on Saturday 14th November at the Tufi Station..
Miss Tufi 2019 with a Cultural Group from her village Sefoa, led Ijivitari MP, Richard Masere and his wife to the stage where the member officially opened the show.
Students from Sefoa Primary School then sung the PNG national Anthem in the Tufi Dialect followed by a recital of the pledge also in the Tufi dialect.
Only visiting groups performed on the first day. Goilala cultural group and Acrobats from NCD.
Both groups travelled to Tufi specifically for the show.
And on the second day, Tufians took over the show. With cultural dances from four surrounding villages Sefoa, Sinei, Tumari and Kabuni.
A wide variety of crafts made from Tapa were also showcased in stalls where they were on sale.
MP Masere encouraged the people of Tufi to take ownership of their culture as it is their identity.
“Tufi Tapa and Tattoo Festival cannot be a success unless there is support from the district”, said Member for Ijivitari District, Richard Masere.
In his address to the people at Tufi Station, the MP said the show had stopped in 2007 due to lack of support and if the people would like to see a continuation of the show in the future, they would have to take ownership of the culture show.
“This is your culture, this is your identity, so why don’t you take ownership?”
The MP said Tufi is known mainly for its fjords and reefs so the Focus is to make tufi famous for its culture and tradition by showcasing more of it.
“Tufi is very unique, everybody in Oro Province makes Tapa but only Tufi has facial tattoos, that makes Tufi unique and different”.
The cultural performances were followed by a Tapa beating demonstration and the crowd’s favourite, Miss Tufi contest.
A contest that encourages young women from Tufi to be ambassadors for their people and culture.
“Different people define culture the way they want and this is not wrong. Many people define culture as singing, dancing, feasting, brideprice payment, etc.”
“I will put it this way, culture is comprised of three components. People, the way of life they live and the environment.”
“Where there are people, there must be a way of life and to live, there must environment to get supply and support from”, said Skolastica Ikirima, Miss Tufi 2019.
Miss Tufi 2019, Skolastica Ikirima handed the title over to Tufi’s newest Queen, Miss Styznique Okena, a grade 8 student from Uiaku Primary School.
Due to COVID-19, not a lot of tourists were able to make this year’s show.
The show came to a close with a colourful display of fireworks very much enjoyed by the locals, UN Resident coordinator, Gianluca Rampola who was on a Holiday in Tufi with his family expressed enthusiasm for the show and said he looks forward to visiting Tufi again next time.