Magic at Warakalap

21 April, 2017

We all dream of visiting magical locations. Few are as special as Warakalap, a remote beach in Jacquinot Bay, on the island of New Britain in Papua New Guinea. After a lively landing through small waves, we found ourselves on a pristine shore. The brilliant white of the coral beach separated the bright blue of the sea from a riot of tangled green jungle inland, from where a waterfall plunged into a clear, swift flowing stream. In Pigin, Warakalap means “waterfall”.

In this beautiful location, we were treated to a dramatic sing sing by the local Pomio villagers. The performers were covered fully from head to foot in costumes of thick vegetation, topped with colourful woven caps, representing magical creatures called Tumbuan who traditionally emerge on special occasions. Spinning round and round and round, their long greenery flung out in flowing patterns, the costumes took on a life of their own, with barely a hint of any human inside.

After this fabulous performance, our visit ended with a cool dip in the stream, whose flow swept us along between the beach and the towering jungle above. A wonderfully refreshing end to a magical morning.

Guest Bloggers: Lecturers Neil and Karen


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