Papua New Guinea is culturally diverse with over 800 different spoken languages. About more than 200 traditional Melanesian cultures have been identified and kept alive through festivals and ceremonies. These cultures are displayed during the annual cultural shows around the country.
Of the 800, the highlands region is the home to over 400 different language groups and hosts four provincial cultural shows. During these events, the people wear their colorful head dresses, doing body paintings and decorations, singing and dance to the beat of the kundu drums. The shows are staged at different dates so that performers from other provinces also participate to make varieties of displays.
Show Venue Date
Goroka Cultural Show Goroka Town-Eastern Highlands Province Start: 11/09/2015
Kundiawa Cultural Show Kundia Town-Simbu Province Start: 13/12/2015
Mt Hagen Cultural Show Mt Hagen Town-Western Highlands Province Start: 11/08/2012
Wabag Cultural Festival Wabag Town-EHP Start: 08/08/2014
Morobe Show Lae Town-Morobe Prov. Start: 24/10/2015
Note; The show rest of the show dates for 2015 will be published once finalized. In the meat time for those shows that are not ready we have pat dates just to give a fair idea of the possible dates that the shows are usually held.
The cultural shows are usually 2 to 3 days events held over the weekends from 9:00am to 3:00pm every day. The performers from all over the province and region come into the province one day in advance to get them prepared. In some areas, they host mini-shows to gear up prior to the big one at the provincial center normally one day before. After the event the best performers receive prizes according to the assessment criteria’s set by the show officials such as best costumes and performance.
On the date of the provincial cultural event the performers will gather around the show ground at around 6:00am at the earliest to get dressed and line up to enter the show arena. By 9:00am the arena is filled with performers demonstrating their cultural displays to the general public. The tourists and very important people will be allowed to enter the arena with the show badges issued by operators. Whereas the locals viewing from outside. At around noon guides and operators will ask the tourists to have lunch at respective places but the performance will still go on. The gates to the arena are opened to the public at 1:00-2:00pm for them to take pictures and show closes by 3:00pm each day.
Top: Eastern Highlands dancers
Top: Simbu dancers with their colorful heardress
Top: Chiwaka Dancers
Top: Enga dancer beating the Kundu (drum)
Top: Simbu Dancers in action
Top: Enga dancer posing for a photo
Top: Simbu Ladies in their colorful attire
Top: Jiwaka Dancers
Top: Western Highlands Dancers
A young lady from Madang in her Costume
Top: Hela Wigmen
Arts and Crafts
Arts and crafts, paintings and artifacts are sold at this time to visitor and the public. Of these the famous ones are Goroka Show and Mt Hagen Show with two smaller and newly introduced Wabag and Simbu Cultural Show.