After the formal opening of the Beyond Pacific Art Gallery we were treated to entertainment and a mumu feast.
A mumu is a method of cooking food underground not necessarily in an oven but in a hole in the ground on hot stones. This method of cooking is found throughout the Pacific.
In PNG, mumu (Tok Pisin) food is usually found at big feasts and singsings. It is convenient to cater for large groups of people this way without having to use hundreds of saucepans!
The mumu was cooked in a make-shift ovens comprising of two aluminium garbage bins. Talk about PNG or Pacific Island ingenuity! Joycelin said they searched high and low for something to cook the mumu in because of the rain as they were not sure if the grounds were going to be dry enough for the cooking process which usually takes several hours .
These bins provided the waterproof oven for the mumu. This was truly innovative, the food absolutely delicious. I believe that wherever we are in this world we would be able to obtain ‘PNG or Pacific Island food’ that is sweet potato, pumpkin and bak choi plus other delicious additions.
In any PNG or Pacific Island gathering there is always food (lots of food), dancing and singing. We were treated to Kiribati dancing which I think is gaining popularity around the world like other Pacific Island dances, albeit slowly. Usually these Kiribati bird dances are performed by a group but our young friend gave us a beautiful and graceful solo performance. Some of the most fascinating dances are those that imitate birds and other animals.
This meal was wonderfully, accompanied by PNG’s famous beer – SP (from PNG’s only South Pacific Brewery in Port Moresby) and some good Aussie wines.
Oh yes a little dancing but most just sitting, standing around, drinking, eating….
Although it was raining that evening we chatted, sang, joked and just had a wonderful time. I reckon it was one of the best birthdays I’ve celebrated anywhere.
We had to leave at a reasonable time to be able to wake up the next day and head out to the airport at 7.00am to catch the PX flight back to Port Moresby.
A great time was had by all. And yes, all good things come to an end but in a nice way and we look forward to visiting the Gallery again sometime soon.
All’s well that ends well.