Papua New Guinea: Rising temple inspires public participation in weaving project
PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea — Sitting on a hilltop in Port Moresby, the capital of Papua New Guinea (PNG), is the emerging Bahá’í House of Worship—a sacred structure that represents the union of devotion and service to society. This central theme, which underlies the purpose of all Bahá’í Houses of Worship, is inspiring residents in the area to assist with the development of the temple in that country, most recently with a weaving project.
Last week, people from nearby neighborhoods, drawing on their knowledge and skills, gathered at the temple site to weave aluminum strips into a traditional pattern that will adorn the interior walls of the central edifice. Weaving is an art form in PNG with which people interact daily, through items such as baskets created for special occasions, matts woven for family and friends, and other objects used in daily life.
The design of the temple dome and the interior weaving pattern are symbolic of unity and the coming together of people from diverse backgrounds. Yori Moigamu, a volunteer from the suburb of Hohola, says: “This House of Worship belongs to all of us. This is what motivates everyone here to work together.”
Confucius Ikoirere, Secretary of the Bahá’í National Spiritual Assembly of PNG, explains that these sentiments are expressed by all people who visit the temple site to pray and offer service. “Once completed, the House of Worship will be open to anyone seeking solace and serenity. It will be a place for all people to reflect deeply on their lives, to think about how they can overcome challenges, and how they can serve their society.”
The progress on the construction work is featured in the gallery of images below.
A view of the dome structure before the installation of aluminum waterproofing panels.
A recent view of the central edifice (bottom) showing the fully installed aluminum cladding that provides a layer of waterproofing protection. Each aluminum sheet has been tapered and curved to meet the specific dimensions of the dome and the canopies over the temple’s nine entrances. The final façade will feature an intricate design made of stone-textured material to be installed later this year.
The past months have seen some 270 window support frames fabricated on site and installed. These windows will allow natural light to fill the interior of the House of Worship.
The image on the left shows nearby residents assisting with the weaving of aluminum strips that will adorn the interior of the dome. The image on the right is a design rendering of the interior of the temple, featuring a pattern that represents the coming together of the many diverse people of PNG.
Albert Lawe, a local resident who assisted with the weaving project, said, “This has been a very unique experience. This activity is the foundation of our culture and way of life. Everything revolves around weaving.”
Work on the recycled timber that will line the underside of each entry canopy is under way. Smaller wood panels are first aligned and leveled (left) before being joined into larger panels through glue-lamination.
An on-site nursery houses plants that will eventually be planted on the temple grounds.
A shot of some of the members of the construction team.
An evening view of the Bahá’í House of Worship in Port Moresby.