Simet launches tubuan

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MATAMATAM, the tubuan on the Matupit Island of Rabaul in East New Britain, was launched last Thursday in time for the 23rd National Mask Festival this week.
About 40 tubuans and dukduks were featured during the kinavai or dawn programme after about three months of rituals and initiations.
During the preparations, which normally take about three months, young boys who are yet to be initiated are taken into the spirit house for the initiations and rituals.
At the time for the launch, they are taken to the public from their clan’s ancestors, bearing their names only on the tubuans and dukduks.
Each tubuan has its owner and after the launch the owner is automatically made a paramount chief in the clan.
The Matamatam was the former executive director of the National Cultural Commission Dr Jacob Simet’s tubuan and after it was launched last week, he was made a paramount chief.
The Matamatam was launched on the Matupit Island outside Rabaul signifying the initiation of the young Tolai boys into manhood.
The tubuan culture in East New Britain and neighbouring provinces is strong and goes along very well with the preservation of the tabus or  traditional shell money.
It takes a person or a clan in East New Britain or the surrounding provinces 30 to 40 years to launch his or their tubuans, depending on the accumulations of the resources and wealth.
Therefore, when their tubuans are launched the owner automatically becomes a chief and is the man in authority.
It takes three stages for a person to be initiated to become a paramount chief. He is like the professor of that particular culture in the society.
This traditional culture is the art of nurturing young people into well-mannered, responsible and well-behaved men and women.
The traditional culture and others around the country are to be preserved, safeguarded and promoted for peaceful societies in the country.
That’s where the National Cultural Commission comes in to play in assisting and advocating for the preservation, safeguarding, promotion and development of both traditional and contemporary cultures of PNG.