The Iarqi

Iarqi – (Ya- RR – Yee)

Papua New Guinea is a land so diverse and filled with many cultures and spiritual beliefs. Many Papua New Guinea cultures relate to villagers and their relationships with the forests they inhabit. In the East New Britain Forests, Papua New Guinea, a spirit called the Iarqi is believed to have healing powers and occasionally visits the Uramot people

When a person within the village is terminally ill, the villagers summon the Iarqi spirit for its healing powers. The spirit figure will appear only if the villagers have paid their bounty to the forests. Circling around the patient three times, the Iarqi produces a medicinal potion brought in a bamboo vessel. 

After administering the medicinal potion, the sick person is healed and is believed to immediately rise up from his death bed. The healing potion is then available for others in the village who need healing in return for food offerings. When performing, you will see women bringing their young children toward the Iarqi for a blessing. 

Traditionally, the Iarqi dance is performed after the Sirivitki dance, the first of the two dances that precede the leading dance of an evening, the Linganga (firedance).

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