Rabaul is situated on East New Briton Island which is a particularly beautiful island off the main island of PNG. It is also famous for its volcanoes which on occasion you can witness them puffing smoke.
The National Mask Festival was initially introduced in 1995 and is staged as an Annual national Event to promote the Mask Cultures of Papua New Guinea. The festival takes place along the beautiful volcanic shores of Kokopo, East new Britain Province.
The Festival begins with the haunting arival of the Kinavai beginning at at the dawn - the only time 'tubuans' can appear. The 'Kinavai' represents the arrival of the feared 'tubuans' amidst the chanting and beating of kundo drums by elders and initiated young men on the canoes, thus marking the beginning of the Festival.
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 masks are sacred and are not meant 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. Most of the masks on display are from the New Ireland province, which the Tolai people claim their lineage thousands of years ago.
Our guests will get to experience the famous Baining Fire Dance. This is a very sacred dance and unique to the East New Britain Province of Papua New Guinea. Initiated men dance barefooted on fire without their feet being burnt while wearing Masks that represents spirits of their ancestors.
Experience a variety for traditional dancing groups from within the province and other parts of Papua New Guinea. This festival is another "Must Do" for the traveler who wants to experience something totally unique in the world.
On arrival in Port Moresby guests will be met by our PNG Trekking Adventures representatives and transferred to the domestic terminal to connect flight to Rabaul, East New Britain Province. On arrival at Hotel guests will join your tour guides for a complimentary drink and brief on what to expect on your trip. Accommodation: Gazelle International Hotel
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 on 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, approximately 50 min drive from the hotel. The Bainings Fire Dance is only performed by men from the Bainings clans, where they immerse themselves into the flames of the fire and escape the fire unharmed at all.
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 (B)
INCLUDED ACTIVITIES: Karavia Ceremony Rabaul Mask Festival, Bainings Fire dance.
After breakfast your tour leader will give 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 given free rein to roam around the festival at your own pace and take in the sites. Accommodation: Gazelle International Hotel (B)
Today begins with an early morning swim with our wild spinner dolphins. Experience the beauty of these friendly animals up close, almost close enough to touch.
After breakfast, your guide 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 given free rein to roam around the festival at your own pace and take in the sites. Accommodation: Gazelle International Hotel (B)
Farewell your group and leader today after breakfast. There are no activities included today and guests are free to depart at any time. If not connecting with the early flight we can organise a guide of the town for you for a small tip to the guide on the day (PGK 20-10 p/p) (B)
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