Maybe it is for the 38 species of paradise birds or for the biggest butterflies in the world or for the hundreds of birds of any colour that Papuan people find the inspiration that brings them to paint and to make up in the most manycoloured and showy way. However it is here in Papua that we remain simply dazzled in discovering in how many ways one can change, how many personalities one can add to its Ego, only by covering the face and body with colours. The inhabitants of Papua are masters in this. To defend or to encourage, to recognize, to love or to fight the colour becomes the basic sign.
The Mt. Hagen Cultural Show, which takes place every year since 1961, is the opportunity to meet all together the main tribes of highlands that, dressed up in their Sunday best, go downhill to be admired. The meeting is at Mt. Hagen sports ground, where the natives, camped since the previous night, early in the morning set to work with had-mirrors, braids, with brushes, leaves, with the most disparate shrubs, unknown flowers, pieces of chalk, lipsticks, several plumes, with necklaces, rings, lances, with arrows, sticks, woven straws, mats, pareus hats that look like monuments on their head: everything may become an accessory and an ornament of the body.
The glimpse is impressive, it is impossible to choose what to look at and what to elude, a whole world, unknown and wonderful, is disclosed. Beside making up from head to toe the tribes exalt themselves with drums and winds and there's much to do to keep calm and energies for the final parade, but the excitement is too high and sudden the music and the dances break open, here and there in groups, in a continuous comparison among the teams that are controlled and commanded like a squad of insubordinate soldiers.
As the time of entrance to the ground approaches, the paroxysm raises and it explodes when the arena is opened and also the tourists and audience have the chance to open themselves in a freeing shout.