Cultural leaders at the 5th Melanesian Arts and Culture festival say respect for elders from the young generation is dying out.
The concern was raised by Gulf chiefs, whilst expressing that there is a need to instill Melanesian values to young Papua New Guineans.
The Gulf people taking part in the festival are stationed here in the PNG Village side of the festival.
We came across them selling traditional crafts like mats and necklaces, unique to their part of the country.
Inside the traditional house, they sang a song acknowledging their ancestral spirits.
The elders fear their traditional norms are fast diminishing, due to outside influence, particularly western influence.
The village chiefs still feel a strong connection to their ancestral spirIts Spirits they brought with them, hosted in their traditional attire.
It is these spirIts they say, that keep their earthly bodies strong. They made the comMen’s after they expressed disappointment that their Governor had not visited them as a sign of gratitude in the Melanesian way.
Some meters away, Oro butterflies from the north coast have accepted that times have changed.
An interesting fact to note is that it is an all-female sing-sing. Traditionally, it was the men that played the Kundu drums.
We moved along the festival grounds and we came across Sepik carvers. From their handiwork, they’ve created modern furniture.
Flower arranging is another blossoming business. Julie Mutono, with the help of eight of her workers, run a successful flower business called Vivid Flower Arrangement.
She caters for all sorts of events upon specific requests. Her plantation is located at Morata.
Our international visitors from Indonesia also displayed various health drinks created from traditional herbs from their part of the region.
But it was their traditional dances that kept the crowd fixated.
Even the mistress of ceremony, popular PNG political and film icon Francisca Semoso from the Autonomous Region of Bougainville, could not help herself.
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