Holding artefacts and artworks from all the 22 provinces of the country, the National Museum offers a superb introduction to Papua New Guinea’s rich indigenous art.
Malangan totems from New Ireland, Baining masks from New Britain, shields from the Highlands, Sepik carved columns – the National Museum and Art Gallery of Papua New Guinea is home to the nation’s rich natural and cultural heritage.
Officially opened in 1977 by former Prime Minister Grand Chief Michael Somare, the original museum was a gift from Australia to celebrate the country’s independence. Australia has remained a supporter of the museum, funding the extensive modernisation works carried out during 2015 – 2018.
The National Museum of Papua New Guinea is a superb introduction to Papua New Guinea’s rich indigenous art.
Located on Independence Drive, next to the National Parliament Building, the museum has been, for more than forty years Papua New Guinea’s leading cultural institution and offers a unique introduction to Papua New Guinea’s art. Over 1700 square metres, the exhibition displays 700 artefacts in the five main galleries which house anthropological, archaeological, natural science, war relics and modern art collections.
The earliest artefacts date back to the 1800’s but the collection extends to artworks of Papua New Guinean contemporary artists such as Jakupa, Akis or Martin Morobubuna, who were deeply inspired by tribal art. Impressive items such as headdress proudly featuring bird-of-paradise feathers, kinashell money, kundu drums, traditionnal bilumsstringbag are on display.
Each object and each section opens a window into Papua New Guinea’s creativity and unlimited imagination in using all that nature can offer as a tool and conduit for expression. Stone, earth and wood, but also bark, seeds, skins, feathers and furs, seashells and even insect shells and spider webs are just some of the sheer diversity to be found inside, an incredible palette of materials to which candy papers, pearls, buttons and industrial paints have recently been added.
Isolated for generations, each region, ethnic group and village has developed its own distinct techniques, shapes and style. Precious heritage for the whole nation, the museum collection also testifies to the importance ofPNG arts as one of the major artistic legacies of the heritage of humanity.
- Location Independence Drive, Waigani.
- Website www.museumpng.gov.pg
- Opening Hours Monday to Saturday : 8am – 3pm. Sunday 1pm to 3pm.
- Entrance : Weekdays : Free – Weekends residents K5, Overseas visitors K10.
- Guided tours can be arranged on request