Kutubu Kunda and Digaso Festival
30th September 2016
This year marks the 6th year of the Kutubu Kundu and Digaso Festival which celebrates the importance of the Kundu Drum and the Digaso Oil to the traditional culture of the Kutubu people. Tribes from all over the Southern Highlands make the pilgrimage to the spectacular Lake Kutubu to perform at the Sing-Sing which unites and encourages support of each other’s cultural differences as well as celebrate the beauty of the area.
The festival was first initiated by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) with the aim to highlight the significance of the natural and cultural heritage of the area and to revive some of the lost cultures and practices. Kutubu has one of the Earth’s most important rainforests, and its preservation is a top priority. The lowland moist, tropical rainforests around Lake Kutubu are home to more species of plants, animals and insects than any other habitat on earth. Locals rely on this precious natural resource for water, medicine and food. The festival helps to bring light to this incredible part of the world, promoting Kutubu’s biodiversity and partnerships in sustainable resource development.
The festival is bursting with flavour, colour and rhythm. Each tribe is adorned with unique tribal costumes and jewellery that add to the vibrant dances and shows they perform. The Kundu Drum is beaten with fervour and its beautiful sound echoes the stories and ancestry of the people who tap their hands against the taut lizard skin. The Digaso oil extraction is always a highlight of the festival. It is fascinating for both locals and foreigners to see the liquid sap drilled out clear but turn black as it comes into contact with oxygen. The valuable oil was once used to trade kina shells with the Highlander people and massaged into hair for the prevention of head lice. Nowadays, the oil is rubbed onto the skin of dancers to give a strong black shiny appearance.
At Paga Hill Estate we feel Kutubu is an incredibly special place to visit and to line up your visit with the festival would make for a perfect opportunity to get a deeper insight into the land, the culture and the people. You can stay at the Tubo Lodge on one of the islands of Lake Kutubu which boasts glorious views of the Lake and surrounding forests.
Paga Hill Estate is a world class master planned estate in the heart of Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea. The waterfront site is the first comprehensively planned multi-use development in Papua New Guinea to be enjoyed by both residents and visitors alike. The all-inclusive development will include vibrant public spaces and waterfront promenade, luxury hotels, residential apartments, restaurants, retail, commercial space, a Trade, Exhibition & Cultural Centre, restoration of WWII relics, marina precinct and a nearby international cruise liner terminal.