Arts & Music
Arts & Music
Flynn’s Tours packages that incorporate major cultural events immerse visitors in a daily feast of art, craft, music, cultural practice and performance.
The Papua New Guineans are very artistically creative people with art included into every facet of their lives whether it is in their architecture, customary costumes or common utilitarian items like wooden bowls, weaponry, baskets and bilums.
Natural calamities such as exploding volcanoes, earthquakes and tidal waves give Melanesia a quality of violence that often re-echoes in the lives of the people, presenting by far the richest artforms in the South Pacific. Their religious beliefs centre in supernatural spirits, mythological beings, the powers of ancestors, and magical practices celebrated in elaborate dramatic ceremonies as part of their religious and social life. An abundance of art and music is incorporated into these religious and secular ceremonies. Dominated by wooden sculpture and some pottery, the art of the Sepik River in the north east of PNG is regarded as not only the most prolific in the South Pacific but also within the entire primitive world. The regions of New Ireland, New Britain, the Huon Gulf and Papuan Gulf all have their distinctive styles such as in the vividly painted masks from New Britain. Tapa cloth bearing distinctive designs is found in the coastal Oro Province and also at Lake Kutubu in the Southern Highlands. The contemporary art scene is unearthing an exceptional level of talent with a high degree of creativity often drawing on traditional subject matter and styles.
Melanesians love their music and although the missionaries suppressed much of the traditional ceremonial music , there has been a revival of these sounds. Drumming dominates with the lizard skin covered Kundu drum the most widely used along with the clever rhythms of the Gararmut drummers. Wind instruments include shells, bamboo panpipes, a variety of flutes depending on the region and the Jew’s Harp. Other instruments include a large range of rattles, bull roarers and ceramic whistles.
The more contemporary music scene is dominated by the sounds of the guitar and ukulele strumming of the Stringband, found in virtually every village. Raggae has a strong influence as has the fusing of jazz-rock with indigenous sounds. Singing is always present whether its in songs that celebrate the performing of simple domestic chores, the beautiful church singing of well rehearsed choirs or the sophisticated chants and calls of a traditional “sing sing”.
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