Come visit Milne Bay.....

Come visit Milne Bay.....
Sing with us, Dance with us, Paddle with us at the most exciting Canoe Festival in Papua New Guinea!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

What can I expect at The Festival?

Kagutoki (Hello/Thank You) and welcome to our blog! 

This site is mantained by The Milne Bay Tourism Bureau and is dedicated to providing you with up-to-date information on The Canoe Festival.

The 7th National Canoe (Kenu) & Kundu Festival will take place from the 5-7 November 2010 in Alotau,Milne Bay Province,Papua New Guinea.

Lopo war canoes from Ealeba & Tawala-mainland Milne Bay

Ceremonial welcome by Tawala / Ealeba Group
The Canoe Festival is a spectacular event that showcases many of the fascinating cultures of Milne Bay including other participating provinces in Papua New Guinea.

Milne Bay is known for its peaceful and friendly people and is an upcoming model for eco-tourism in PNG. The province has over 600 islands and is also known for its wide range of traditional canoes which play a significant role in Milne Bay culture.

Being one of the largest maritime provinces in Papua New Guinea, Alotau, (the provincial centre for Milne Bay) was selected by The National Cultural Commission and The PNG Tourism Promotion Authority as the ideal location to host this iconic event that has grown steadily in size and status over the past six years.

The Festival program features an exciting line up of events that includes both onshore and offshore activities to keep you captivated over three days. Expect to see;

  •  Traditional canoes of all shapes and sizes from within Milne Bay and other provinces of PNG.
* In 2009, 114 canoes participated in The Canoe Festival which was    the largest participation ever in the history of the event.
  •   Exhibition Sailing
  •  Exhibition of paddling techniques
  • Traditional Canoe Racing
  • Traditional Food Exchange and distribution between ancient trading partners.
  •   A wide variety of Cultural Performances and activities showcasing many of the traditional costumes and dances rarely seen by outsiders.
* In 2009, over 1,500 participants took part in the festivities. This included all the crews from the canoes and those involved in presentations, demonstrations and dance groups in the arenas.
  •  Local string band music which is unique to Milne Bay.
  •  Various stalls featuring local arts & crafts and local cuisine.
  •  Corporate Sponsors stalls
  •  Crazy Raft Race for sponsors
  •  "Milne Bay Experience"- An evening of authentic Milne Bay entertainment and cuisine.
Epoi Kula Canoes-Fergusson & Normanby Is.

Canoes featured include; Traditional Lopo War canoes from mainland Milne Bay, Kula Trading Canoes such as The Epois from Fergusson & Normanby Islands and The Masawa canoes from The Trobriands, Nagega canoes from Woodlark, Sailau sailing canoes from as far afield as The Louisiade Archipelago, Falai canoes from Suau and Kukakukas from Rabaraba District.

Each canoe is crafted with precision, bearing its own unique clan designs and paddled by sea-faring warriors who have spent months in isolation, preparing themselves for the big event. Many brave strong winds and rough seas for several days, even weeks to paddle into Alotau for the festival.
       Lopo war canoe in action
 Some performers travel by foot over the Owen Stanley Ranges, for over a week, just to dance at the festival. Such is the enthusiasm of the people to be involved in what has become the biggest gathering of traditional canoes in Papua New Guinea and one of the most significant tourist attractions in Milne Bay.

The Festival is a free public event with number of spectators estimated to be between 15,000 -20,000 per day. Those wanting prime viewing at the jetty or visitors hut will be required to pay a fee to The Canoe Festival Committee.

Visitors need to book flights and accommodation early as some hotels are already fully booked for the 2010 festival.

Keep checking this site for more updates and information regarding the 2010 National Canoe & Kundu Festival. For more information, please contact The Milne Bay Tourism Bureau:

                                                  Photos by David Conn