IT is timely to share a bit on Melanesian culture here after the recent 5th Melanesian Festival of Arts and Culture in Port Moresby which was hailed a success.
From the highlands to the islands, from the southern to the northern tip of Papua New Guinea, they proudly walk on to the podium, almost unrecognisable in the beautiful grass skirts, sea shell ornaments and painted faces and bodies.
Some, flamboyant bodies glistening under the orange stage lights, are showing off special plant extracts and traditional dyes and who knows what. Perhaps a touch of manufactured baby oil or even body lotion, an alien trend becoming a norm in some places today.
But amidst all the chanting and singing, one particular group stands out - their chanting heard clearly accompanied by light feet stamping and the sharp notes of small bamboo garamuts setting the tempo.