Lamap Arts and Cultural Festival

Martin and Elizabeth Bevan
Sat 8 Aug 2015 22:09

Position           Lamap, SE Malakula

Date                Friday 7 and Saturday 8 August 2015


A benefit from being in Lamap this week was the annual Lamap Arts and Cultural festival.  This fantastic, not to be missed, event is put on annualy by one of the local villages who take turns to host it.  The whole event was coordinated by an Australian aid worker, Aya Pidgen, who did an amazing job bringing the whole event together.  The ticket price included transport from and to the boat landing at Port Sandwich and generous catering.



This years event was put on by Penap village, complete with Kava Bar



A procession of warriors in traditional dress (undress?) waiting to lead the guests to the opening ceremony which included the presentation of a pig to the host chief



The catering was excellent and provided in a traditional hut especially built for the occasion


Each day had a major display of men’s dancing with a troop of 40 or so dancers it was very impressive and a great privilege to see.



On day 1 the men danced a traditional Dance of the Spirits.  The Black and White mud signifying the difference bnetween life and death.  The masks are made by the individuals and highly prized



The dancing on Day 2 showed the dances performed during the ceremony of circumcision when young males are admitted to adulthood.  They are designed to frighten the candidates as a test of courage – as if they required any assistance!



Demonstrations of traditional crafts and food preparation were made.  These are still in daily use in many of the villages that we have visited and it was very interested ot have them explained in detail,



The ladies put on a display of singing and dancing which was rather more gentle than the men’s and in their own arena



This young man crept under the perimeter fence to watch his mum


In addition to all of this there were displays of traditional sand drawing and the telling of traditional stories with explanations for ambats (Bislama, the national language, for white people – not used as a term of abuse but a statement of fact)



Not part of the event but a good example of universal children’s play and sand castle building


I could not resist including this one, spotted during our village walk about on day one:



Pigs may safely gaze (apologies to JS Bach) or perhaps ‘Let sleeping pigs lie’