Mussau Island, Papua New Guinea
Mussau Island is the largest island of St. Matthias Islands, Papua New Guinea. It is one of the northernmost islands of Papua New Guniea, near Emirau.
Mussau Island is next to Mount Taleanuane, an active volcano and is located in New Ireland. t is one of Papua New Guinea's less frequented islands.
Mussau, or the St Matthias Islands are most famous as a protected habitat for birds, or an Endemic Bird Area. Among the species that nest on Mussau is the Melanesian Megapode. It is also home to species of frogs, bats, lizards and unique tropical plants.
Sadly, unlike many areas of Papua New Guinea today, Mussau Island lost its forms of traditional culture to identify with. This group of islands had lost all its tribal arts, crafts, dances, songs and artefacts even part of its cultural heritage in 1930's, when the people took the giant steps towards western and foreign ideologies and beliefs. However, the New Irelanders are among some of the friendliest, loveliest and most beautiful people in PNG. They live a very happy and simple life. They are honest about their interactions with others regardless of whether they are strangers or family members. Slowly, the Malagan culture is returning to these people It believes that there are three gods who form the godhead: 1. The bird representing the god who governs the air;
2. The snake (black & white) representing the god of the land, and
3. The fish god governs the sea is represented by the fish.
The prominent features of the Malagan mask are the eyes. The culture teaches that the gods sees everything each member of the community does. Whenever interacting with other people, their words and actions must be done honestly and peacefully.
The beaches are clean and the fish life abundant. It is a popular destination with scuba divers as it has a vast array of WW2 wrecks. From 1942 to 1944 when they withdrew, the island was occupied by the Japanese military, after which saw the arrival of Christian missionaries.
South Pacific cruises are extremely popular with increasing numbers of ships domiciled in or visiting the region each year. This region experiences warmer and rainier months from November to April, with the rest of the year being pleasant and drier.