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19 July 2021 | dataset

Karawari caves Precinct

Department of Environment and Conservation

The Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) was established in 1985. Its mission (approved by the National Executive Council on 22 August 1989) is to ensure natural and physical resources are managed to sustain environmental quality and human well-being.

The key legislations administered by the Department are:

Environmental Planning Act 1978

Environmental Contaminants Act 1978

Conservation Areas Act 1978

National Parks Act 1982

International Trade (Fauna & Flora) Act 1979

Fauna (Protection and Control) Act 1966

Crocodile Trade (Protection) Act 1974

Water Resources Act 1982

It also has an important role under the Forests Act 1992.


Midway up the slopes of the Andogoro, Moirutapa, and Kundiman mountains that rise up from the surrounding floodplains and separate East Sepik Province from Enga and Western Highlands Provinces in Papua New Guinea, are the traditional settlements of the Upland Arafundi people (Roscoe & Telban 2004:94). Galleries of stencils
adorn the walls of caves once used as spirit houses and shelters by the Upland Arafundi people. In the limestone caves they buried their dead, initiated young men, and sheltered from their enemies. Common among the galleries of stencils are hands made by blowing, spraying or spitting a mouthful of ochre over an outstretched hand. The hand stencils are enduring personal signatures on the cave walls. These hands and other stencils (e.g. kina shells, cassowary feet and other prints) are yet to be dated but the extensive nature of the painted galleries that adorn the walls of these rock shelters, as well as other living traditions (haus tambarans, carved wood and stone figurines, bark paintings etc.) provide real insight into the culture and symbolic conventions of the semi-nomadic peoples who inhabited the caves.

Data and Resource

Field Value
Publisher PNG Conservation and Environment Protection Authority
Modified 19 July 2021
Release Date 19 July 2021
Identifier 18fffb5b-bdac-4a30-920c-473de081a187
License Public
[Open Data]