The Mount Hagen singsing Festival 2023-2024-2025-2026 was established in the 1960s as a peacekeeping initiative to promote understanding among sparring tribes. Colonial administrators wanted to decrease tribal fighting by encouraging positive forms of competition.
This popular event is held every year at the Kagamuga Showground in Mount Hagen. The ‘winners of traditional dance, performance and costume are still eligible for cash prizes and high prestige. It attracts over 100 cultural groups from the Western Highlands Province and other parts of the country and is a popular stop for tourists on their itineraries. This festival, along with others similar ones, helps to preserve indigenous languages and cultures. It encourages participation from younger members of the community and values their timeless traditions.
There will be traditional performances as well as local entertainers from the modern music scene. A variety of arts and crafts will also appear. This event is a major rival to the Goroka Show. Each August, tribes from all over the Western Highlands Province in Papua New Guinea and neighboring provinces of the Highlands region gather in Hagen for exciting cultural performances (or singsings). These include traditional dancing, singing and rituals. You will have great photo opportunities, so be sure to charge your camera and ask your guide for details about the sequence of events. This will ensure you are able to witness the best’singing-sings’, including the Huli Wigmen.
The main show runs from 9am to 2pm. It was the last day. I spent the morning at the school nearby where several Western Highland groups were finishing up their paint and outfits.