30 Sep 2005

Australian quarantine officials seize Papuan band's traditional instruments

3:59 pm on 30 September 2005

Australian quarantine officials have seized the costumes and instruments a of a group from the Indonesian province of Papua.

The 41 singers and dancers were to showcase their traditional Melanesian culture at the Bellingen Global Carnival in New South Wales over the weekend.

David Phillips, from Lions International, says Customs officials have told the performers that their costumes and sacred instruments have to be confiscated.

Mr Phillips told Australian radio that the items are sacred to these people and have spiritual significance to them.