The Reed Festival
The Bi-Annual Reed Festival is a cultural event for the Bougainvillean people to show their culture, beauty and diversity over several days through cultural dancing, songs, plays, drama and other traditional and creative arts.
The Reed Festival is staged in Arawa and performers come from all over Bougainville.
The festival provides the opportunity for young Bougainvilleans to learn about and partake in their own culture from the older generation.
One important part of the Reed Festival is the ‘Cool Culture’ component that incorporates cultural activities and displays by the local children.
The Mona Festival is held annually in Buka town to celebrate the seafaring tradition of Bougainvilleans.
It is staged in July of every year and attracts cultural performers from all over the province. The Mona Festival is sometimes referred to as the Canoe Festival.
The name ‘Mona’ actually refers to a large sea going canoe which was used in traditional times for the purpose of trade or to conduct lightning raids on other communities and islands in the Solomon Sea.
The Mona is not a ‘dugout’ canoe made out of hallowing out the trunk of large trees.
Instead the canoe is crafted out of hewn planks (using stone tools) of hard lightwood, expertly held together using special vines.
The Mona was made water tight using the sap from the seeds of a certain tree. The canoes could hold up to 10 rowers and could move swiftly over water.