Festival to reveal untold stories

The people of Kopen in the Wabag District of Enga Province are delighted that their ancestral stories and ceremonial sites will now be revealed to the world, following the launch of their cultural festival recently.

The launch of the Kopen Take Pii festival is quite unique from the other cultural festivals that have been launched and packaged by the National Cultural Commission of Papua New Guinea. It is unique in the sense that the festival, when fully developed, will include visits to ritual sites and ceremonial grounds where stories of the significance of the sites will be told.

The National Cultural Commission (NCC) has taken a keen interest and will be helping to develop the festival and further package it as a tourism product for its sister agency, the Tourism Promotion Authority, to market.

People in Kopen say there is a cave that stretches from Kopen up to Laiagam and was used as a travel route by their forefathers, a distance of about 1500 kilometers.

There are three lakes in Kopen that are said to be sacred and people from Kopen have a special relationship with their environment. They believed their fortunes and wellbeing depended on how they interacted with their surroundings.

Kopen is said to be a ceremonial site for the people of Enga. The word ‘Take Pii’ can be translated as ‘the value of the word’, hence advice or wisdom on trade or ceremonial events were all sourced from Kopen back in the days of the forefathers.

All these stories and more will now be developed and packaged into tourism products now that the festival is formally launched and recognized by the Government.

When he opened the festival in Kopen earlier this month, the Minister for Tourism Arts and Culture Isi Henry Leonard said variety in tourism was important.

“This country has a great potential and there is a need to revive our cultures, customs and traditions. Let’s give more time to our cultures. Tourism is important through cultural events and the way forward,” he said.

Minister Leonard urged the people to stop tribal fights and take ownership of their culture for their own benefit.

Meanwhile, NCC Executive Director Steven Kilanda said Enga is the only province in the country that has invested substantially in the development and preservation of its culture.

“It is the leading province when it comes to promoting culture,” he said.

Press Release