opspng@southseahorizons.com ARBN: 21168524810 PNG IPA 1-111276

The National Mask Festival – 4 Days / 4 Nights

The National Mask Festival of Papua New Guinea is an annual event National introduced in 1995 to promote the Mask Cultures of East New Britain, New Ireland and other areas in Papua New Guinea in a sustainable manner.

The National Mask Festival of Papua New Guinea held over three days is a unique exhibition of cultural dances, ritual performances and a variety of arts and crafts on display. The festival opens with the arrival of the “Kinivai” at dawn.

The “Kinivai” represents the arrival of the revered ‘Tubuans” who arrive amidst the chanting and beating of Kundu drums by elders and initiated young men on canoes. The ‘Tubuans’ are revered ancestral spirits of the ‘Tolai’ people of East New Britain. Traditionally the arrival of the Tubuans meant that shell money was to be paid for broken taboos by certain people in the villages.

Traditional masks will be on display during the festival – some many decades old brought over from New Ireland Province and other parts of Papua New Guinea.

Many of these Tubuans are sacred and aren’t to be viewed or transported to alien places, hence the ceremonial ‘Kinavai’ which acts as a cleansing or appeasement ritual for the broken taboos and to pay respects to the Tolai people of East New Britain

Why do we like it? Sacred Tolai Tubuans perform at this event.

Itinerary

Duration: 4 Days / 4 Nights

Day 1: Rabaul

Welcome to Papua New Guinea! Touch down at Rabaul Airport (aka Tokua Airport), where you’ll be transferred to your hotel. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6.30 pm in the reception area. A welcome drink at the bar will await you at the poolside while your guide will give you your tour brief about what to expect in the next coming days.

ACCOMMODATION

Gazelle International Hotel (1 night)

INCLUDED ACTIVITIES

Complimentary Airport Arrival Transfer

Information evening hosted by your guide and team

MEALS INCLUDED

There are no meals included on this day.

Day 2: Kinavai Ceremony Rabaul Mask Festival

We leave our hotel at 4.30 am to view this cultural experience. The Kinavai ceremony is a reenactment of the landing of the Tolai People into Rabaul. The canoes paddle across the water at the break of dawn and you hear the canoes and the chants long before you see them. The stillness of the morning air coupled with the chants makes this a very unique experience. After the Kinavai we return to the hotel for breakfast. We then enter our first day of the Mask Festival and witness local PNG cultures on display. Dance groups perform throughout the day here and you will witness an amazing assortment of colours, songs and instruments throughout the entire day. Each clan has a unique beat and each culture has distinct dances a the show.

Spend the day entering the show grounds at your leisure as our hotel is situated right next door to the Rabaul Mask Festival grounds. After an early optional dinner, we will transfer the group up to Kainagunan or Gaulim Village in the Bainings area, which is approximately 50 min drive from the hotel. Men from the Bainings clans, where they immerse themselves into the flames of the fire and escape the fire unharmed at all, only perform the Bainings Fire Dance.

The Bainings clan is one of few cultures in PNG, which do not use the Kundu drum as their rhythmic percussion instruments. They instead use bamboo and the sound is just as unique as the fire dance itself. This is an exciting and unique ritual, which is not, performed anywhere else in the world. After the performance, we will return back to our hotel.

ACCOMMODATION

Gazelle International Hotel (1 night)

INCLUDED ACTIVITIES

Kinavai Ceremony Rabaul Mask Festival, Bainings Firedance

MEALS INCLUDED

Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 3: Rabaul Mask Festival

After breakfast, your leader will give you a briefing on what to expect today at the show. We will then transfer the group to the show grounds for more of the festival. You will be free to walk around the festival at your own pace and take in the sites.

This evening an optional group dinner is on offer. We will walk across to the Ralum Country Club to have some dinner and talk to the local community over a few drinks.

ACCOMMODATION

Gazelle International Hotel (1 night)

INCLUDED ACTIVITIES

Rabaul Mask Festival, Bainings Firedance

MEALS INCLUDED

Breakfast and lunch

Day 4: Rabaul Mask Festival

This morning we will be treated to an early morning swim with the dolphins. Your guides will meet you in the foyer at 6 am to transfer you to your boat. We will then spend the morning swimming with East New Britains famous spinner dolphins. We will be dropped off back the hotel for breakfast and freshen up before the festival.

After breakfast, your leader will give you a briefing on what to expect today at the show. We will then transfer the group to the show grounds for more of the festival. You will be free to walk around the festival at your own pace and take in the sites. Feel free to take a walk around Kokopo Town. We can organize a guide to show you around for a small tip to the local guide.

ACCOMMODATION

Gazelle International Hotel (1 night)

INCLUDED ACTIVITIES

Rabaul Mask Festival, Bainings Firedance

MEALS INCLUDED

Breakfast, lunch and dinner

 

Day 5: Farewell, Not Goodbye

Farewell your group and leader today after breakfast. There are no activities included today and you are free to depart at any time. Included transfer to Tokua Airport for your flight out of Kokopo.

INCLUDED ACTIVITIES

Complimentary Airport Transfer

MEALS INCLUDED

Breakfast

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