For years on end, most people in Milne Bay Province and the country knew it as the Milamala Festival, a festival that celebrated the significance of their most loved staple starch; the Yam.
However, this year the name has been changed to Kiriwina Cultural Show in the hope to become a more inclusive Cultural Festival celebrating not only the mainland of the Kiriwina-Goodenough District but also the outer islands surrounding the mainland.
Festival Coordinator Modakula Kunuyobu said this was to promote unity in celebration of their culture , including everyone that made up the District.
“We want all neighboring tribes to participate and including our three main islands Kitava Island, Vakuta Island and Kaileuna Islands so they can also display their unique culture to everyone visiting,” Mr. Kunuyobu said.
With the date set the Kiriwina Cultural Festival is happening from 30th June to 2nd July at the Losuia Oval Station in the District.
“Despite the hardships because Covid-19, this event falls under the Milne Bay Tourism Authority Integrated Development Plan which requires each of the 4 districts in the Province to display their cultural heritage annually,” Mr. Kunuyobu added.
“So this is Kiriwina-Goodenough District ticking off their box.”
With the kind of backing, all 33 wards in the District will be displaying their Arts and Crafts especially their woodwork, different cultural singsings and dance and more importantly the celebration of their Yam Harvest.
“It is through this that our cultural heritage never dies out, our cultural identity is intact and/or restored,” Mr. Kunuyobu said.
“With so much western influence it is through such events that we preserve and maintain our important cultural ties.”
Important delegates such the Governor of Milne Bay and local members are expected to be present during the 3 day event.