Do not sell Kina shells: Craftsman

The National,Wednesday June 15th, 2016

A CRAFTSMAN says Kina shells should only be displayed, not sold.
Yake Pua, from Southern Highlands, has been crafting Kina shells for about 12 years. He crafted more than 1000 shells wants to revive and preserve the Kina culture.
Kina shells were used as the main medium of exchange in trade and governance.
Pua is the chairman of the Kina Culture Group which was formed to revive, educate and perform cultural practices which are part of the heritage and identity of the people of Southern Highlands.
“How we, Southern Highlanders, celebrate Kina shell and all the rituals and ceremonies of the Kina shell is a big story in itself.  The bilas and songs have stories to be told,” he said.
“I myself know the stories and culture of Kina as well as the rituals.
“I want to be a living witness.
“The Kina shell is of great value to us and we will tell all of PNG the story of Kina and toea through the Kina Culture Group.
“For the people in Southern Highlands, the Kina Shell is something very important.
“It is our precious jewelry and so it must never be sold but only displayed.”
Pua said other things such as carvings and bilum made from wool and nylon could be sold to generate income.
Pua sells artifacts such as bows and arrows, shields and grass shirts with the income going to the Kina Culture Group.
He said culture must be preserved.
“Communities have a huge part to play,” he said.
“They must set up haus man to educate youths. The education department must also apply our cultural education in the education system.
“Culture is one factor that plays a huge role in our lives, not only in PNG but everywhere around the world.
“Culture is the foundation of everything, even our government system.”