Rabaul Mask Festival

Rabaul is situated on East New Briton Island which is a particularly beautiful island off the main island of PNG. It is also famous for its volcanoes which on occassion you can witness them puffing smoke.

Dates: 11-15 September 2017

Book now, limited accommodation available.

The National Mask Festival was initially introduced in 1995 and is staged as an Annual national Event to promote the Mask Cultures of Papur New Guinea. The festival takes place along the beautiful volcanic shores of Kokop, East new Britain Province.

The Festival begins with the haunting arival of the Kinavai beginning at at the dawn - the only time 'tubuans' can appear. The 'Kinavai' represents the arrival of the feared 'tubuans' amidst the chanting and beatingof kundo drums by elders and initiated young men on the canoes, thus marking the beginning of the Festival. 

Traditional masks will be on display during the festival – some many decades old, brought over from New Ireland Province and other parts of Papua New Guinea.  Many of these masks are sacred and are not meant to be viewed or transported to alien places, hence the ceremonial ‘kinavai’ which acts as a cleansing or appeasement ritual for the broken taboos and to pay respects to the Tolai people of East New BritainMost of the masks on display are from the New Ireland province, which the Tolai people claim their lineage thousands of years ago.

Our guests will get to experience the famous Baining Fire Dance. This is a very sacred dance and unique to the East New Britain Province of Papua New Guinea. Initiated men dance barefooted on fire without their feet being burnt while wearing Masks that represents spirits of their ancestors.

Experience a variety for traditional dancing groups from within the province and other parts of Papua New Guinea. This festival is another "Must Do" for the traveler who wants to experience something totally unique in the world.



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