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Old 05-01-2004, 01:13 PM
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Revive culture in villages - by Sampson Bonai

Cultural and traditional values are of great importance to the lives of the young people, as it will determine their behaviour in the future.

Studies have revealed that Papua New Guinea cultures and traditions are fast disappearing due to the negative influence of the western culture upon our lives.

Gone are the days when cultural values, beliefs and practices played a very significant role in our everyday living.

Realizing the negative impact western influence has on our dying cultures and traditions, the Biangai people of Winima and Kuwembu villages in Wau, Morobe province, embarked on a mission to revive and preserve their rich cultures and traditions.

Hidden Valley landowner executives and committees, with the support of Morobe Consolidated Goldfields Abelle, successfully planned and hosted the inaugural cultural day at Winima village on December 18.

Their own tribesmen from Kaisenik, Biawen, Elauru, Werewere and Wandumi villages teamed up with them and took part in the event.

Three live cows and two pigs were slaughtered for the occasion where all the women folk of Winima and Kuwembu villages were involved in the preparation of the traditional food.

The people performed traditional singsings, string band songs, dramas and mourning songs.

They also displayed their traditional ways of hunting, gathering of food, aiming and shooting of bow and arrows and placing of traps.

Due to time limitations and the bad weather, other traditional plays and dramas did not take place.

MCG Abelle’s chief executive officer George Niumataiwalu, external affairs manager Peter Leahy, exploration manager David Osikore, PNG government consultant Bill Searson and project co-ordinator Jerry Naime accepted the invitation and attended the cultural day to strengthen the company and the government's commitment to work closely with the local people of Biangai and Watut.

They were also very impressed with the Biangai people and their desire to learn the importance of preserving their rich cultural heritage and traditions.
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Old 05-01-2004, 01:14 PM
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Four MCG Abelle senior liaison officers Wayang Kawa and Wawa Waia from Biangai and Lengato Giam and Boina Yaya from Watut were also present.

Mr Niumataiwalu stressed the importance of preserving our rich cultural heritage and traditions.

"I'm pleased with the efforts all of you put in to get the inaugural event off the ground on a high note,” he said.

“The company will be supporting the cultural program on an annual basis.

"Next year, MCG Abelle Ltd will be moving forward into the mining development stage and it is very important the young people are made aware of their cultures and traditions before it dies out.”

Mr Leahy pointed out that the responsibility lies with the people to get acquainted with their own cultures and traditions.

"It is time for the people to realize the importance of their cultures and traditional values in this modern day and age," he said.

"I'm pleased and very happy with the people of Biangai and I challenge the Watut people to do the same by hosting their own cultural day also next year.”
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Old 05-01-2004, 01:20 PM
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Wau rural local level government manager Dollie Kumgie said his government would be working closely with the people of Biangai and MCG Abelle to engage the people in agricultural activities for their long-term benefit.

Two sacred songs call Kumurike and Besinge were sung by the people on the occasion.

The people abandoned the two songs – associated with special magical powers - many years ago.

They are used to attract the opposite sex, resulting in love and marriage, and were passed on from generation to generation.

Wau villagers dancing during the show
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Old 05-01-2004, 01:41 PM
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A landowner spokesman commended his people for their tireless efforts and said they all deserved a word of praise for their time and efforts in staging a successful cultural day.

"It was great success,” landowner Mr Mauri said.

“Everybody who contributed one way or the other towards the hosting of the event has done a tremendous job.

"I want to commend all the people of Winima and Kuwembu and our relatives from the villages of Wandumi, Kaisenik, Werewere, Elauru and Biawen for their support in making this occasion a great success.

"The occasion will now become and annual event on our calendar and will rotate around the seven Biangai villages.
“ I also want to acknowledge the great assistance provided by MCG Abelle Ltd with logistics and finance."

The day was filled with laughter, fun, cheering and clapping.

Some old men and women shared tears when seeing the revival of their cultures and traditions.

Senior MCG Abelle and government officials Messrs Niumataiwalu, Leahy, Osikore and Naime were handed a bow and arrow each and were given a lesson on how to use them.

The guests were treated to a big feast and were later presented with traditional Biangai billums (string bags).

Well, as the saying goes, all good things must come to an end.

As the afternoon sun was sinking behind the mountains of Biangai, all the weary participants, visitors and invited guests slowly made their way back to their respective villages and back to town.

I had to squeeze myself with other invited town guests into the back of Wau rural LLG land cruiser and travel back into Wau town.

Ends//

Guests at the show
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Old 05-01-2004, 01:43 PM
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Wau - location on the PNG map
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Old 05-01-2004, 01:45 PM
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Wau Township
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