The Festival is an annual event celebrated in Port Moresby and has been dubbed the premier cultural show of the Capital City.
It brings together the Motu and Koitabuan people, native landowners of the Port Moresby, with the aim of reviving their cultures, customs and traditions, which have been passed down from generation to generation.
The word Hiri is the name of the trading expeditions undertaken by the Motuans using double-hulled watercrafts, called lagatois, to sail to the coastal villages of Kerema in the Gulf Province. This is to trade the highly-prized Motuan uro (clay pot) for sago and betelnut, amongst other traditional commodities.
The first-ever Hiri Moale Festival was staged in 1971, organised by the Port Moresby Tourist Association.
Because of its successful outcome, the PNG Tourist Board took over the festival from Port Moresby Tourist Association and since then, it has become an annual event that coincides with the country’s Independence anniversary on September 16.
The last time the festival was held was in 2014. In 2015, due to the Pacific Games, the Motu Koita Assembly (MKA) and the National Capital District Commission decided to defer the Festival.
This year, Port Moresby’s premier cultural event is set to go ahead, starting with the launch this Friday.
The Festival is set to be staged on September 30 to October 1 this year at Ela Beach – the home of the Hiri Moale Festival.
Picture source: skerah.com