Visit to the cannibal tribes
I can honestly say that today was one of the highlights of my trip. I will have to write everything down that I learned and I think I will have to write an extensive trip report later on.
This morning I first visited the sites of cannibal tribes where they lived before the missionaries came and everyone moved to the coast. It was a very interesting visit because I learned that they never ate women (they were married off) and from the men they ate only the bad guys. If the chief of the tribe decided that their prisoner was a good guy he was kept as slave. The burial site of the chiefs is still a sacred space for the tribe and it is said that the spirits of the chiefs are still there.
After that I went to the village of the Small Namba tribe and stayed with Veronique, the daughter of the chief. I had a couple of hours to get to know her and her mother in law (and husband and brother in law) and play with her kids. It was one of these ‚come as stranger and leave as friends‘-occasions. We talked a lot during the time I spent there, they showed me how they live and it was fun to play with the kids. The small one (Odilien) is only 5 months old and Claude, the older one, is 5 and was fun to play with too. I saw the garden (which is by no means anything close to our european gardens), the toilett, saw how they cook, tasted yams and laplap and took pics of course.
In the afternoon we went to the site where the Small Nambas hold their perfomances. It was a bit strange to see the people who I had talked to earlier suddenly wear their traditional costumes. We saw three different dances, then we were shown how laplap is being cooked, then we were shown what the woman can create with palm-leaves. After that one of the men made a fire only from wood, we had to find out what signs meant that were dran in the sand. Finally there were two more dances and then it was all over. Of course I have pictures and videos as well.
Today made me realize that even though the performances are commercialized nowadays, you don’t know and see the ‚real‘ Vanuatu if you don’t go to the smaller islands like Tanna (where I was before) and now Malekula. I am glad I decided to see those two islands. Of course there are more small islands but you can’t do everything…. 🙂