Kenu & Kundu Festival
The annual Kenu & Kundu Festival will be held on the 1st - 3rd of November, 2019 in Alotau, Milne Bay province.
Canoes and Kundu drums are widely used in traditional ceremonies and rituals practiced by Milne Bay people. As vessels of travel and enjoyment, they are meticulously crafted from special woods under strict customs to derive the best results.
The canoes that feature at the festival include trade vessels and war canoes crafted using the same techniques used thousands of years ago. They are a testament to the famed seafaring, trade and war-time skills of the ancestors of the people of Milne Bay, especially the Kula Ring.
Two-years ago Milne Bay sailors Sanakoli John and Justin John successfully circumnavigated the island of New Guinea with Danish Adventurer Thor F. Jensen. They completed their journey with an honorary welcome at the 2017 National Kenu & Kundu Festival.
Festival highlights include the 'singsings' (cultural dances), canoe races and the arrival of the war canoes.
Cultural dancing groups featured at the festival come from all over the Milne Bay province, including some parts of the Papuan Region - creating a rich variety of performances.
Prizes are given to winners of the canoe races who assemble a day earlier at Wagawaga Island to form a convoy before sailing to Alotau for the official opening ceremony.
Other activities include:
- Arts and craft displays
- String band competitions
- Traditional and contemporary drama performances