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06 November 2007

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Paul Oates

I missed that suggestion about the PNG singsing being an invention of the kiaps as I was away on holidays. I'm surprised no one else took it up at the time, but then everyone in the know knew it wasn't so.

Each cultural and ethnic group had and has their own traditional singsings as do many other cultures throughout the world.

The only real difference I knew of in PNG were those people who were referred to by outsiders as Kukukukus. They reportedly seemed to delight in rotating around in a circle and yelling yiah.. yah.... yah.. etc but without the normal kundus and/or garamuts one usually associates with a PNG or Torres Strait Islander singsing group.

Niicaux Blavk

The 'singsing' is deep rooted in the various PNG cultures. It's part of their identity. There are various songs and dances (singsing) for various occasions too, e.g., funerals, pig-killing, bride-price, intitiation, war etc.

If you mean 'singsing' as in Hagen Show or Goroka Show, etc then that is simply a showcase for outsiders to see what these people have in the name of song and dance and so forth. Its set up as a tourist attraction as well.

But to think kiaps invented singsing is just outright absurd :)

On the other matter, concerning Siebrand's query, it sounds interesting. I would love to help out but I first have to check.
Thanks for the toksave.

Peter Warwick

I would appreciate any information on the history of the singsing.

I am told the singsing was not performed in villages as such, but was an invention of kiaps who designed it to bring rival tribes together.

Singing together seemed to ease tensions between the tribes.

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