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Goroka Show | Papua’s Biggest Annual Multi-Tribe Festival

   
   

Goroka Show | Papua’s Biggest Annual Multi-Tribe Festival

The Goroka Show is a well-known tribal gathering and cultural event in Papua New Guinea. 

It is a sing-sing held every year close to the country’s Independence Day in the town of Goroka, the capital of the Eastern Highlands Province. 

Goroka Show | Papua’s Biggest Annual Multi-Tribe Festival

About 100 tribes arrive to show their music, dance, and culture.

The festival started in the mid-1950s as an initiative of Australian Kiaps. 

   
   

In recent years it has become a major attraction for both national and international tourists and remains the largest cultural event in Papua New Guinea despite similar shows now being organised in Mount Hagen and other cities around the country.

What To Expect At The Goroka Show

Goroka Show | Papua’s Biggest Annual Multi-Tribe Festival

The surprise of the day depends on which tribes decide to rock the celebration that year.

However, get ready to enjoy storytelling dances and songs performed by tribespeople dressed up like they’re either going to war or a wedding.

Goroka Show | Papua’s Biggest Annual Multi-Tribe Festival

Woven rainbow headdresses are family heirlooms; bird-of-paradise feathers decorate skirts.

It is also easy to spot the tribal leaders by the size of their conch shells.

The enthusiasm of the participants and onlookers is earth-shaking, you will be forced to join in the dance.

Some of these tribes only meet once a year, so it’s a real privilege to witness the exciting interactions and friendly, thinly veiled rivalries – trying to be the best.

The sing-sing represents communication and community building, all at once – a shared language in a country where there are over 400 dialects.

Goroka Show | Papua’s Biggest Annual Multi-Tribe Festival

Goroka Show | Papua’s Biggest Annual Multi-Tribe Festival

   
   

Men, women, and children spend hours getting dolled up, with many of the outfits designed to ward off intruders. Expect forest moss suits and pig’s tusk facial jewelry.

While the celebration is going on, some tribes come all fully loaded with their island’s fruits and food, palm woven baskets, and all lots for tourists.

   
   

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