Tumbuna Show: Small Sing Sing Festival, Big Cultural Experience

Posted on: November 18th, 2019 by veronicap No Comments

Tribes in colorful traditional dress

Papua New Guinea’s biggest tourist attractions are its colorful ‘sing sing’ festivals that happen throughout the year. The Goroka Show, started in the 1950s, attracts hundreds of visitors each year to come experience the brightly colored union of over one hundred tribes in Papua New Guinea.

This Goroka Show is definitely a must-see, but it can overshadow some of the more intimate festivals in Papua New Guinea, including one of our favorites – the Tumbuna Show.

The Tumbuna Show has over 300 tribesmen and women from 15 local tribes that come together in the highlands of Papua New Guinea.

Similar to the Goroka Show, tribes from the highlands and the coast gather every year at Kum mountain for the Tumbuna Show. They join together for tribal dance and song in bila, their vibrant, traditional dress.

Even though the Tumbuna Show is smaller than some of the other festivals in Papua New Guinea, it doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be on your bucket list. In fact, it has an intimacy that is inviting to all!

Traditional Dress at the Tumbuna Show

[Image Credit: Trans Nuigini Tours]

Tumbuna is the local language word for “ancestor”.

This word is the heart and spirit of the festival. Guests can see the tribes dress up in their bilas before the dancing portion of the show begins.

Around lunch time, an underground oven called a “mumu” is fired up and guests are invited to enjoy the meal with the residents of these ancient cultures.

Tumbuna Sing Sing

[Image Credit: Trans Nuigini Tours]

Guests are invited to join in with tribal performers!

The intimacy and friendly nature of the Tumbuna Show is felt throughout the whole ceremony. Visitors are free to explore the village in the Paiyagona Valley to get a true authentic experience of village life in Papua New Guinea. And many guests join in the festivities, dancing and singing with the local tribes.

Experiencing Papua New Guinea up close and personal is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. You’ll truly feel welcomed and at home in the highlands of Papua New Guinea as you discover the power and reverence these tribes have for their “tumbuna.”

Get your ticket for the Tumbuna Show before it’s fully booked!

Papua New Guinea’s famous festivals are unlike any other celebration on Earth. We create one-of-a-kind travel packages that take you right to the heart of these festivals on fully guided tours. Ready to start planning the trip of a lifetime?

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