Ekasup Village

While I just enjoyed my first sunset on the island of Tanna (where I will stay for 10 days) I sorted the pics from this morning. Since my flight to Tanna was only in the afternoon I had booked the tour to Ekasup Village which is another Kastom Village in Efate and I am really happy that I did that. It was so interesting. There was much less dancing than I would have thought but that was no problem as we got a lot of other information. For once I was not the only tourist seeing the show but a couple from Adelaide was there with me was well.

When we arrived with the van a guy with a conch was waiting for us. And while we walked through the dschungel he was blowing the conch to let the rest of the guys know that visitors were arriving. I think the girl from Adelaide was a bit worried when suddenly warriers with black signs in their faces came up from the bushes holding their spears against us and making threatening voices. It was fun but it seemed a bit real. 😉
Then we had two guys who told us a lot of things. The first one started to tell us that with grating bananas, drying that for two weeks and then wrap the dried banana in ginger leaves and put it in the baskets and then in the earth, they have an emergency-supply of food in case a cyclone hits and destroys all their food.
Then he showed us the traditional hunting and fishing methods they use since in the villages they need to be self-sufficient and can’t just go to the next supermarket to buy everything. For me the fishing-stuff was really interesting. They use some sort of fibers (pics 11) and when they see a school of fish they hold it to the ground. The fibers start to produce oxygen which makes the fish dizzy, they come up to the surface and they just need to be collected. The other tool they use is made of spiderwebs (the thing that looks a bit like a paddle). When the sun is out this reflects the sun when they put it in the water. The fish get curious and bite in it – but can’t get their teeth out again.
The next guy told us about medicin. The leaves you see on the pic are for headache (you need to roll them in your hands so juice comes out and that needs to be sniffed on). Then he told us about the chicken-feathers. They have arranged marriages in the villages on Vanuatu. And the guy needs to pay with pigs. The tooth of the pig needs to be in a circle and it takes 15-20 years till that is grown (so they have to start early to grow pigs as otherwise they can marry only when they are retired… 😀 😀 😀 ). Once they have a pig which means they can marry they put the chicken feathers in their hair. And the longer the feather the bigger the pig-tooth… And if both parents have agreed on a match the girl gets a tatoo so all males know that she is spoken for…
He told us a bit of cannibalism too as the entire country once was a cannibal country (which was due to the fact that they didn’t have enough food for everyone). But that changed with a missionary coming to the islands… unfortunately for the missionary he ended up as dinner three years later…
After all that information we were brought to a 200 year old banjan trees and we went inside. The inside of the tree had been shelter for some people in the village during hurricane PAM. Amazing…
Then we got some refreshments and the boys danced one dance and then sang two songs and the show was over for us. While waiting for the van to bring us back to the hotel we chatted some more with the guy who had last talked to us and that was interesting as well. He told us that when he went to Sydney for the first time it was a shock for him… I can understand that if you are used to village life in Vanuatu…

After that I waited in the restaurant of the hotel till it was time to get to the airport again where I met Christophe again who is french but lives in New Caledonia. He has a way to chat with everyone and soon we were talking to Ni-Vanuatu women sitting next to him as well who came here to Tanna for a training.

Arriving in Tanna was really sad. The airport is still missing part of it’s roof and from what I could see mostly all trees are gone. Tanna had been hit by PAM much harder than Efate and I knew it would be bad. It is still sad to actually see it though… transport to the hotel was a short ride and once arrived I enjoyed my first sunset… tomorrow morning I am going back under water. 🙂

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