About Us

Papua New Guinea’s diverse cultures are on the verge of extinction due to rapid westernization and inter-regional influences these days. Technology and other developments in the country have taken their toll in the lives of the local people both young and old that not so many today are paying attention in keeping their cultures and traditions alive.

Soon children of this generation and the next and others down the line would not be able to know most of their cultures and many of them would not be able to speak their mother tongue fluently.

Institute of PNG Studies focuses on research into various aspects of PNG cultures, particularly music, dance and oral history

Due to these concerns, the government of PNG has established the Institute of Papua New Guinea Studies (IPNGS) in 1974 as a National Cultural Institute under the agency of National Cultural Commission that focus on collection, preservation and promotion of the country’s cultures.

The institute’s work focuses on research into various aspects of PNG cultures, particularly music, dance and oral history. Its goals are a reflection of the preamble of the Constitution that emphasizes the importance of ancestral traditions today.

 There are presently 12 positions in departments for music/dance, ethnology, administration and five casual staff. The main office is based at Boroko in Port Moresby.

 The staffs have been continuously engaged in fieldwork to document various aspects of PNG cultures. The institute’s responsibility to Papua New Guineans in the past, present and future is to ensure their cultural heritage is preserved for present and future generations. As per the institute’s records, recordings have been made in the country since 1898 and remain invaluable parts of the country’s cultural heritage. Oral history is documented as well as music and dance traditions at villages and during regional shows. Copies of important collections of PNG recordings made by others both within PNG and overseas are also collected and archived. Those documents include audiovisual and printed documents that are available within PNG. Audio recordings are digitised to ensure their accessibility in the future.


Materials in the archives are preserved for future purposes where the institute prepare publications for use in schools, for academic work, and for popular consumption. Some of those purposes include, Papua New Guinea Music Collection (1987), book with eleven cassettes, widely used in PNG school system to teach about traditional music, Sound-producing Instruments in Oceania, by Hans Fischer (1983, 1986), the most comprehensive book on musical instruments in the Pacific region, that is used for church music studies, popular music studies, and donations of archived publications to other sister museums and organisations within PNG and overseas.

IPNGS also has Collaboration with archives overseas. One example is the archive in Austria: Papua New Guinea (1904–1909): The Collections of Rudolf Pöch, Wilhelm Schmidt, and Josef Winthuis(2000), 6 CDs. The Book collaboration with international and local researchers is available as free download.

The master recordings are kept in storage containers; they have a music archive of audio-visual recordings, and a library of print materials.

IPNGS also participates in international events and also provides trainings to its staffs to improve human resource contributions in the institute.

Contact us

+675 323 5111
+675 720 0000

Port Moresby, Boroko
Angau Drive