WagwagaBy Samatha Semoso – EMTV Online
Canoes and kundu drums are a significant part of life of the people of Milne Bay Province.
The canoe and kundu are widely used in traditional ceremonies and rituals in Milne Bay. The ‘war canoes’ are specially crafted under strict customs to derive the best results and ensure victory.
The Kenu and Kundu Festival was first held in Milne Bay in 2003.
The canoes used in the festival are crafted the same way as the ancestors of the Milne Bay people with the colours and patterns reflecting the tribe and area the canoe comes from.
Traditional dancing groups will be represented from all over Milne Bay province, including Eastern part of the Papuan Region – creating a rich variety of performances.
The canoes assemble a day earlier at Wagawaga Island, to form a convoy before sailing to Alotau for the official opening of the ceremony.
The event usually takes place annually in early November with prizes awarded to winning groups.
Other activities include arts and craft displays, string band competitions and traditional and contemporary drama performances.