By Jack Lapauve Jr, EMTV – Port Moresby
Calls have been made to preserve the Motuan art of tattooing.
This was expressed by the UNESCO team on Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage mission in the Pacific region.
The team visited Pari Village outside of Port Moresby and were impressed but stated more effort is needed to keep this tattooing culture alive.
The UNESCO team was given a first-hand experience to see and feel how this art has been performed.
After the death of a traditional tattoo artist, relatives bury them with their traditional tattoo making tools.
UNESCO is now on the move in collecting in-depth reports of particular cultural rituals or traditions. The visit is under the 2003 UNESCO Convention on the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) in the Pacific Region.
The UNESCO delegates were amazed as some tattoos took up to one week, with four tattooists practicing the art on girls from 15 to 18 years old. But over the years, the Motuan custom has seen a drastic move from traditional tools to modern tattoo machines.
The UNESCO team will also be visiting other Pacific Island nations under the ICH project. This will also see documentation and publication on topics of preserving and strengthening cultural traditions and knowledge.