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January 28, 2021
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Balimo Spectacular At Melanesian Festival Of Arts And Culture

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The Balimo Long House is definitely a crowd pleaser at the 5th Melanesian Festival of Arts and Culture.

Since it opened its doors to the public last week, the public has been mystified about how it catered for whole clans in traditional times.

 

As one Balimo spokesman told the public, if women had entered the men’s quarters back in the day, there would be hell to pay.

 

The Balimo Long house… And a never-ending sea of people climbing up its’ specially carved steps to get a glimpse of what lies inside the enigmatic building.

 

The building is made entirely of bush materials with no nails used. Almost 90 percent of the materials were brought in from Balimo. They prepared well, through the support of Middle MP Roy Biyama.

 

Inside we caught Sawi Bibi off-guard as he busily captivated the crowd on a ledge with his stories of doom.

 

He stressed that the middle section of the Long House was a no-go zone for women and that in the old days, bad things would happen if women did enter.

 

He described the separation of the compartMen’s on either side of the Long House, stating in terms of marriage, those on one side could get married to those on the other.

 

It was a waiting game, leaving the Long House. Underneath the Long House, the women weaved traditional baskets.

 

Back onstage, the Balimo people dance to a bird song. The Bird of Paradise and the eagle.

https://youtube.com/watch?v=ZBj9le6AB0k%3Ffeature%3Doembed%26wmode%3Dopaque%26showinfo%3D0%26showsearch%3D0%26rel%3D0

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