In rural Papua New Guinea, the villagers of Bosmun revive a long dormant canoe ceremony along their sacred Ramu river. Village elder Melchior Ware explains the important roles that canoes serve in his community.

Preparations for the ceremony include an elaborate feast, the skillful carving of a beautiful crafted canoe, and a fruit-throwing ritual that tests the strength of the warriors that stand atop it as they paddle down the river.

This video was produced by the Sacred Land Film Project,, a project of Earth Island Institute. To deepen public understanding of sacred places, indigenous cultures and environmental justice, the Film Project produces a variety of media and educational materials—films, videos, DVDs, articles, photographs, school curricula and other materials. The Sacred Land Film Project uses journalism, organizing and activism to rekindle reverence for land, increase respect for cultural diversity, stimulate dialogue about connections between nature and culture, and protect sacred lands and diverse spiritual practices.

Its latest project, Standing on Sacred Ground,, is a four-part series that chronicles indigenous people in eight communities around the world standing up for their traditional sacred lands in defense of cultural survival, human rights and the environment. Watch them stand against industrial mega-projects, consumer culture, resource extraction, competing religions, tourists and climate change.

If you enjoyed this clip, please consider supporting our ongoing work by visiting and clicking Donate.