For anyone visiting Cook Islands in the next two weeks, here is a cultural beauty show you can see. Miss PNG Abigail Havora will be a contestant. Results will be posted on this blog after the crowning.
There are many aspects of the Miss Pacific Islands Pageant (PNG) that are worth writing. I wanted to share tonight two aspects that are very valuable; one is the culturally inspired dress and two, the education support it gives to PNG women.
Here are some pictures from the crowing night of the Miss Pacific Islands PNG pageant. There is a pageant category called traditionally inspired dress. In these pictures, the six contestants wear their dresses inspired by their own tribal cultures. PNG has 22 provinces, over 800 languages with three official communication languages – English, Pidgin and Motu.
The Miss Pacific Islands Pageant Papua New Guinea’s motto is: Passion, Strength and Beauty.
The Miss PNG committee, while developing and moulding the young contestants to prepare for the final and then bring the winner to the regional Miss Pacific Pageant, this powerhouse team of women raise money to educate young Papua New Guinean women.
The process is that if any of the young women completing their tertiary education cannot finish their schooling because of financial reasons, this fund can help. Since its conception in 2010, the PNG committee has paid for 140 young PNG women to complete their tertiary education.
Miss Pacific Islands – Papua New Guinea, was crowned last night in front of a packed audience at Crowne Plaza Port Moresby.
Abigail Havora, age 24, is a Biology-Chemistry graduate from the University of Papua New Guinea. Miss Havora works for Oil Search Ltd. She is also a feminist and, an advocate for youth. Miss Havora was sponsored by the Pacific Balanced Fund. In her spare time, the bio-chemist devotes her time to The Voice Inc, a dynamic youth development organisation and the PNG Cancer Foundation.
“My intent is to bring a message that strengthens the bridge between culture and the changing times so young people, especially women, are more aware of what they are contributing to, and the type of influence they are exerting. I am passionate about making a difference, which may come across as a broad statement, but my personal motto is to – leave the place better than it was.” Miss Havora said.
Miss Havora is from Gulf and Central parentage, She will represent PNG in the regional quest, the Miss Pacific Islands Beauty Pageant in Cook Islands later this year. Abigail was one of six entrants in the pageant this year.
More on Miss Pacific Islands Pageant PNG – in the next post.
Grace Nugi was crowned Miss South Pacific-PNG 2014. The 24-year-old from the Papua New Guinea Simbu Province took out four other awards from her five competitors. Grace will represent Papua New Guinea in the Miss South Pacific Quest in Samoa later this year.
What I enjoy most from this beauty quest is, it is nothing like what you see or hear in the international arena. Coming from challenging personal backgrounds and a wider culture (PNG) where women’s freedom is threatened with continued violence and in many areas women and girls are regarded as lesser than their male counterparts. It takes a lot of courage for the contestants to be in public and learn to develop a sense of confidence. The quest teaches these young women – how to gain confidence and strive to be whoever they want to be. The quest opens doors for the young contestants to opportunities in education and career apart from the obvious tourism aspect.
Cultural Heritage and Cultural Preservation
The other thing I love about the quest is that it promotes our material culture, the intangible culture and it involves family and community. Through the promotion of both tangible and intangible culture we preserve our heritage.
How does this happen? Each contestant wears (traditional and day wear) that is original and handmade. The dress could be made using tapa cloth or hand knitted string made fibre (hilum) from natural fibre, shells, bark etc. The headdress and body adornment would come from the province of their heritage and most likely made by family members. Each contestants have to perform a traditional dance from her own heritage. Bear in mind PNG has over 330 languages and 22 provinces with many tribal groups.
Finally, the money paid by their sponsors, is put to a good cause. It funds other young women to complete their education. The quest also assists the winners in international travel to the Miss South Pacific, and further develops the contestants while they are engaged in tourism to promote their country.
All pictures shown here are from Rocky Roe Photographics. http://www.rockyroephotographics.com
For more on Miss South Pacific (PNG) click on the click below:
It is that time of the year again and the Pacific islands’ quests leading up to the Miss South Pacific has begun. Miss PNG held their competition last Saturday evening, October 18th in the capital Port Moresby.
Here is a preview of the contestants. Rocky Roe pictures show contestants parade before judges. More pictures and story tomorrow.