The people of Papua New Guinea have deep spiritual connections to everything surrounding them. They see the world as a multi-level universe that is home to a variety of spirits. The ancestors are not forgotten after death, rather, they continue to communicate and interact with the living. Furthermore, everything in the world has a spiritual essence. Whether animal or plant or human, the spiritual entities surrounding the people of Papua New Guinea all play important roles in the tribal culture.
This vast spirit world is respected and celebrated, and the intention of most art is to communicate or otherwise reach out to the spirits for various purposes. “Everything, both animate and inanimate, has a spirit essence that survives indefinitely and, therefore, needs constantly to be acknowledged and appeased.” Villagers often dress themselves as clan totem spirits during celebrations and ritual dances (Ancestor).