These Notes have recorded previously the Australian Museum’s exhibition [until March 2009] featuring Frank Hurley’s photographs from his visits to Papua in the 1920s. Now the PNG Canberra Cultural Group choir will perform at the Museum in conjunction with this exhibition. The special Peroveta performance will be held on Sunday 17 August at 11 am.
The 15 members of the choir, originally from Central Province, specialises in Peroveta Anedia - a style of singing introduced by Rarotongan missionaries to coastal Papuan communities in the 1870s. In a 45-mt performance, the group will also perform traditional kundu drum songs and dance songs, Kitoro and Gaba Mavaru.
Erna Lilje [left], a doctoral student at Sydney University and expert on Papuan culture, comments: “If we can pull a big crowd for a PNG event at the Australian Museum, it may help to increase interest in Melanesian culture. I have become aware that no one beyond the art world, apart from New Zealand, wants to take the initiative with Pacific cultures in museums. The researchers do, but at the museum hierarchy level everyone is saying that it is not their responsibility. The British Museum thinks that Australia should take the lead, but Australia thinks that it should concentrate on indigenous Australians. New Zealand focuses on Polynesian cultures.”
If you’re interested in attending, please call Mure Lilje on 9633 4039. And it would be appreciated if you could bring along some food to share with dancers and organisers after the performance.