Festival of Mount Hagen

Culturalmente Imparando

Mount Hagen is a city of remote Papua New Guinea and owes its name to the volcano of the same name where it is built. The territory was first visited by foreigners in 1933, when Australian explorers discovered a tribal settlement in that area by aerial reconnaissance. In the following years a number of runways were built. The presence of Europeans on national soil dates back to the first half of the 16th century, in particular Portuguese and Spanish sailors.

The reason why this place is famous in the world is the annual Sing Sing festival. It takes place in Mount Hagen between 17 and 19 August, attracting adventurous tourists and enthusiasts who have the opportunity to travel so far. The festival gathers the different local tribes to give life to a fascinating performance characterized by dances, songs and traditional rituals accompanied by drums, all surrounded by a breathtaking natural scenery.

Ethnic groups such as Kunai, Tepi, Polga, Keps, Ambe, Mukabw, Baiyer and Kaula show off their colourful and original costumes. The event for this attracts many photography enthusiasts. Despite the ancient heritage of the tribes this festival was created only in 1964 (another similar, the Goroka show, instead in the 1950s). The foundation probably dates back to the will of the government to calm the native aggression often protagonists of tribal feuds. Sing Sing is a way to give tribes the chance to "challenge" without bloodshed.

Similar events also take place elsewhere, as in the town of Goroka. Also the local Goroka show gathers hundreds of local tribes who dance and sing for the occasion. This cultural tradition takes place on 16 September, that is, on the Independence Day obtained in 1975. The country has suffered a rather troubled colonial history. Towards the end of the 19th century the southern part of the then New Guinea became a British protectorate, while the north-eastern part became a German protectorate.

The latter in 1919 was taken over by the League of Nations and entrusted to the British Empire, which in turn will entrust it to Australia to which the British New Guinea had already been granted in administration at the beginning of the 20th century. The territory was invaded by Japan during the Second World War and then again administered by the Australia merging into the new Territory of Papua and New Guinea mentioned above, unified in 1949. In 1972 the name was changed in the present Papua New Guinea.

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  • L'Autore

    Mario Rafaniello

    Mario Rafaniello Vice Responsabile della rubrica “Culturalmente Imparando”. Partecipa anche all’entusiasmante progetto “Japan 2020” e si interessa di arte, cultura e letteratura.

    Laureato in Giurisprudenza e laureando in Relazioni Internazionali. Attualmente collabora con diversi portali online.



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