Kiriwina Island, Papua New Guinea

The Kiriwina Islands (once known as the Trobriand Islands) are a 450 km² archipelago of coral atolls off the eastern coast of New Guinea. They are part of the nation of Papua New Guinea and are situated in Milne Bay Province.

Most of the population of 12,000 indigenous inhabitants live on the main island of Kiriwina, which is also the location of the government station, Losuia.

Other major islands in the group are Kaileuna, Vakuta and Kitava. The group is considered to be an important tropical rainforest ecoregion in need of conservation.

The people of the area are mostly subsistence horticulturalists who live in traditional settlements.

Cruises operate year round from Australia, Fiji and Tahiti. The weather is reasonable to hot all year round, with rainy periods experienced roughly from November to April.

General Information:

Population: 12,000
Language: Kilivila (& dialects)
Currency: Yams
Kiriwina Islanders use yams as currency and consider them a sign of wealth and power. Western visitors will often buy items from the Kiriwina Islanders using money. There is also a Kula exchange, which is a very important tradition among the Kiriwina Islands. The women also use bundles of scored banana leaves.

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