Penis and gourds swing up and down during Singsing Muruk

Walsa people in Imonda, West Sepik are reviving their traditional dance-the Singsing Muruk.

It was popular in the 1990s where you have men with cassowary feathers head dress, bird of paradise plumes, penis gourds, bows and arrows chant in unison while hoping around.

When doing so the penis and the gourds swing up and down to hit a waist strap making a sound.

The penis and the gourds swing up and down

The repeat action and sound resonates a rhythmic tatting sound.

Bare breast women only in grass skirt and few face paints join their men in chants and as they walk, the grass skirts sway from side to side in unison.

They hold bird of paradise plumes and wave them as well.

Last weekend after being in hibernation they  converged, and danced at their local level government headquarters at Imonda, five hours drive south from Vanimo and over the Bewani mountains.

There are 13 villages in the area who practice Singsing Muruk and eight took part in the festivities.

The tradition had deep cultural connections and each song had a meaning.

It would be for chasing evil, help food in the gardens grow well, invite fish to their Wasengla and Papi Rivers or to heal a sick person just to name a few.

While there is contentment the traditions have been preserved, there is concern that massive logging expansions into the area have been a threat to their culture.

Many young people are working with logging companies and being lazy, only waiting their royalties-few have lost touch with the Singsing Muruk.

The Tourism Promotion Authority supported the Singsing Muruk through the Walsa Cocoa and Cooperative Society and they have planned to have the festival annually on the first Saturday weekend of every December.

A proud Josephine Inou said they encouraged and taught their children about these cultural dances.

She explained most times women were not allowed to visit the Muruk (cassowary).

Ruth Tap from Daunda village said they received blessing when they perform the Muruk dances.

The community looks forward to hosting that annually in partnership with the Tourism Promotion Authority.


singsing muruk

singsing muruk

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