Tubuans perform to mark death ceremony

The National, Tuesday July 19th, 2016

MORE than 30 Tolai tubuans in East New Britain performed in a cultural event in the Toma area of Gazelle district last week to remember dead relatives.
Minister for Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology Malakai Tabar, who is also the Gazelle MP, participated in the event as part of his cultural obligation.
Tabar, who is biologically from the North Coast area of Gazelle district, had been adopted into a family in Rabagi ward in the Toma area as a youth.
Tabar’s tubuan mask performed during the event together with many others.
Speaking at the occasion in Tamanairik ward, Michael Lidon, a cultural leader and member of the organising committee, said the cultural event was historical and revived the cultural practices in the Tolai society.
He said it was a death ceremony that allowed clans and sub clans to get together and break Tolai tabu (shell money) among each other to end a mourning period.
“In this event, we recall our relatives who had passed away years ago. It is also during this event that our children and youths get familiar with the tombs of our relatives and ancestors. The event also gives us the space to bond and strengthen our family relations,” he said.
Lidon said the cultural event (Warwakai) at Tamanairik was organised for the ToMatanapap clan and three of its sub-clans.
He said the chief tubuan from the clan was the host of the cultural ceremony and had invited other clans to participate. He said the tubuan masks were from Toma, Vunakaur and Rabagi wards.
Lidon said this reflected the extended family in the Toma area.
The event also involved the sharing of food among the tubuan and the people.