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Papua New Guinea Culture

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  • Mudmen warriors clasp their weapons at the Goroka Tribal Festival
  • Mudmen warriors dancing

Social Conventions

Papua New Guinea is home to hundreds of culturally different clans and tribes. Thanks to the rugged terrain found in the country, these tribes developed in complete isolation from each other. Many of them still subscribe to a primitive lifestyle today. As much of Papua New Guinea is yet to be discovered, many tribes can be described as being “contacted” in that local authorities know of their existence, but interactions are not common.

Papua New Guineans are considered to be quite casual and easy going and their etiquette system focuses on reciprocity and they take great pride in being hospitable. By respecting local beliefs, no matter where one travels, a vast array of traditional customs and cultures awaits.



There are over 800 spoken languages represented in Papua New Guinea making up a third of all languages in the world. Only around 350-450 of these languages are related highlighting the sheer remoteness of the development of the tribes in the country.

The three most widely used languages are English, conversational Tok Pidgin and Hiri Motu. English is taught in schools and is also the language of business and government. Tok Pidgin is the preferred method of communication of many of the residents of Papua New Guinea, while Hiri Motu is spoken only on the south coast of Papua. 



According to a 2000 census, 96% of the population of Papua New Guinea was listed as Christian. Churches with the largest representation are Roman Catholic Church, Evangelical Lutheran Church, United Church, Seventh Day Adventist Church and the Anglican Church. Many Papua New Guineans successfully combines the Christian faith with their traditional indigenous beliefs. Traditional beliefs like animism place importance on the existence of non-human spiritual beings.

Minority religions found in Papua New Guinea include the Bahá’i Faith and Islam.



Papua New Guinea Travel Information

At Goway we believe that a well-informed traveller is a safer traveller. With this in mind, we have compiled an easy-to-navigate travel information section dedicated to Papua New Guinea. 

Learn about the history and culture of Papua New Guinea, the must-try food and drink, and what to pack in your suitcase. Read about Papua New Guinea's nature and wildlife, weather and geography, and 'Country Quickfacts' compiled by our travel experts. Our globetrotting tips, as well as our visa and health information, will help ensure you're properly prepared for a safe and enjoyable trip. The only way you could possibly learn more is by embarking on your journey and discovering Papua New Guinea for yourself. Start exploring...book one of our Papua New Guinea tours today!


Extend Your Stay

Consider an additional stopover to your Papua New Guinea tours at one of Goway's other South Pacific destinations. You can choose from our selection of Australian vacations, New Zealand vacation packagesTahiti vacation packages, stay at one of our Fiji resorts or perhaps take a Cook Island vacation. This can be done stopping over en route to or from New Zealand.



Book your Papua New Guinea tour with Goway!

Goway's DOWNUNDER wizards offer many ways to explore, experience and enjoy amazing Papua New Guinea. There are different lodges for different regions, a stay in a Sepik riverboat as well as a luxury small vessel cruising in the region. We can also arrange adventure treks and diving experiences. Let us custom-design what will be your most amazing globetrotting journey.


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