I think I can safely say that no travel experience offers absolute predictability. But cruise the islands of Papua New Guinea and you will encounter one immutable certainty. You will visit a predetermined number of picturesque villages, and you will be greeted at each by a performance of traditional dance.
These cultural displays are as diverse as the islanders themselves. Papua New Guinea has some of the greatest variety on earth. The people you visit today will likely speak a different language, have different traditions, and offer different items for sale once the festivities have concluded from those of the day before. Some of the dancers are children, some are adults. Some of the performances are accompanied by singing, others are not. Some simulate recognizable activities such as rowing, fighting, or, in at least one case, copulation. But given the relentless pace even the most attentive and ethnographically astute traveler will find that the experiences start to run together, and begin to ask him or herself, “Now was that the village where they suspended the babies in woven bags?” or “Was that where the women had facial tattoos?”
So should you ever have the opportunity of visiting these wonderfully exuberant and welcoming people, I offer the following quick reference guide:
Garove, Witu Island Group:
Bien, Sepik River:
Environs of Madang:
Tuam, Siassi Island Group:
Kuiawa, Trobriand Islands: