By JACKLYN SIRIAS
THE 11th Sepik River Crocodile and Arts Festival will be held at Ambunti next month, president Alois Mateos says.
He told The National that preparations for the three-day event that would be held on August 5 to 7 were already underway as they have received sponsorship confirmations from organisations willing to assist them.
“We have sponsorship from Tourism Promotion Authority (TPA), Mainland Holdings, Frieda Mine, Bank South Pacific, our regular sponsor for six years, and a new sponsor yet to be confirmed,” Mateos said.
Festival secretary Jacob Marek said they have carried out awareness to villages long the Sepik River that would participate.
“We also extend the invitation to all other districts in the province who wish to participate.”
Marek said the basic aim of the show under the Celebrating Culture and Nature theme was to preserve the culture and environment, and strengthen the work of tourism in the country as per the Government’s goals and requirements under the tourism industry.
“The festival will feature crocodiles as they are a part of the Sepik heritage that our people have shared a strong bond with. Crocodiles in our culture symbolise strength, power and manhood,” he said.
“Many boast of scars cut into their skin during initiation.
“The scars running from the shoulder to the hip resemble the back of a crocodile. Crocodiles are significant to the Sepik culture where they have traditions, beliefs and legends based on this particular animal.”
Marek said during the festival, traditional groups from respective districts would showcase cultural dances, contemporary dramas, string bands and other traditional celebrations.
“All of these will be done to do awareness on the importance of the environmental, arts and cultural preservation as well as awareness on tourism and its importance to the country’s economic growth.”
By JACKLYN SIRIAS