Islanders masked and ready to dance

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THE 23rd National Mask Festival and Tolai Warwagira kicked off in East New Britain yesterday with the famous Kinavai that featured Tolai Tubuan masks.
Tolai Tubuan masks were part  of the Kinavai show yesterday, at sea and danced their way into the main Kokopo beach front.
The festival held at Ralum show ground in Kokopo will run through the weekend.
It is held annually with the aim to preserve and promote culture.
Organisers said in the next few days, there would be traditional singsings from across the New Britain region as well as from neighbouring island and mainland provinces.
Since its inception, the festival has grown every year, attracting tourists from as far as Europe and the United Sates.
This was evident yesterday as tourists were up early to watch the Kinavai, and then moved on to the showground to watch various performances. The mask festival was set to conclude this afternoon and the Tolai Warwagira will begin.
Organisers said the Tolai Warwagira will feature traditional dances, string band performances and conclude on Sunday with gospel choirs.

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