Munda Lagoon Festival

As you know, I like to showcase and advocate Pacific Islands festivals throughout the year. Our Website’s calendar is often updated with new and recurring cultural events. In fact, it won’t be too long now when I will start researching and posting dates for 2017 festivals and events that incorporate a Pacific Islands flavor.

I’m also always on the lookout for new and unique festivals, and I believe that have found one that took place earlier this month. Thousands of people from villages across Roviana Lagoon in Western Province witnessed the opening of the 2016 Lagoon Festival in Munda, Solomon Islands. This year’s event was bigger than the one held last year in terms of organization and attendance.

Each of the community within the lagoon came up with a float and participated in the float-parade during the opening ceremony. This year’s theme was “Celebrating people, culture and environment.” The floats on the opening day journeyed to the main venue from Kindu on the west side, Dunde on the eastern end, and Nusa Roviana south east. Another remarkable journey was a canoe from Rarumana of some 30-strong men who arrived in Munda a day early.

The festival came about by the people who live around the Roviana Lagoon. They were frightened about their own people becoming forgetful about their own culture. They also felt that the environment was not properly being cared for and a culture of confusion and paranoia is chipping away the very fabric of the people. Therefore, the lagoon festival would be a positive way to remember and showcase the province’s proud and rich culture. During the week long festivity, it was a time for islanders to join in many organized events and activities using the sea as the ocean is where 90 percent of time is spent by islanders.

The festival is hoping to attract more tourists in the future. Maloney Lopotoo, the Provincial Member for Munda Ward 15 and the spiritual home of the lagoon festival addressed the crowd on opening day by acknowledging and thanking the local organising committee. He told the crowd about the intentions of the Provincial Government to focus more attention on the development of tourism in the province. He said, “Tourism must now be addressed and seen as an alternative economic case.”
Let’s hope that more people will get a chance to see this unique festival in the year’s come. As for me, I’m looking forward to the festival schedule of 2017. Check the ICAS Website often and don’t miss a beat!
Happy New Year!

About islandculturearchivalsupport

Island Culture Archival Support (ICAS) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation of records pertaining to the cultural identity of island peoples in Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia whose national and public archives, libraries, cultural centers, and business organizations are underprivileged, underfunded, and understaffed. The specific purpose for which this nonprofit corporation was formed is to support the needs of these South Pacific cultural heritage institutions by helping to preserve and make accessible records created for business, accountability or cultural purposes. The organization will endeavor to add value by providing resources or volunteers to advise, train, and work among island residents to support their efforts in building their future and preserving their collective memory through the use of modern archival techniques.
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