MALAKULA & MESCALINE ISLANDS, Vanuatu (con't)
AVOK VILLAGE AND NAMBA DANCE
Tribal Kastom Dances are one of the key ways that the ni-vanuatu mark the importance of key events in their lives. Every birth, death, circumcision, initiation, marriage and crop planting or harvesting event is marked by celebrations of drink, dance and storytelling. The kastom dances are usually held in a sacred area dedicated for dancing called a nasara.
Donna & Marv in their dinghy and Emma and Axel with us, we skimmed over
the reefs in the shallow water through the mangroves to neighboring Awai
The children were glued to us with curious faces and we got the feeling that WE were the entertainment!
|The local women had made lays for us. As it turned out, Gord was "layed" by the same woman that had been making passes at him when we attended Church in Awei.|
A band played
|Emma watches the preparation of the kava, which is much stronger than Fiji kava. They actually use a meat grinder instead of using the method of pounding the root as is done in Fiji. The little lights from burning lanterns are common nighttime sights marking the location of Kava Bars.||These children freaked and started to scream when I took their photo as they were not use to cameras.|
|Children of the village are curious of us. Our presence in their village is a big event||Primitive basic homes made exclusively from whatever is available on the island.|
While some Tribal Kastom Dances are restricted from viewing by outsiders or female tribal members, some are performed for visitors enabling the sharing of the ni-vanuatu culture with the outside world.
On the island of Malekula there are two main tribal groups; Small Nambas and Large Nambas. The dance we saw was performed by the Small Namba tribe.
The Namba Chicken Dance Begins
The young men wore the traditional Nambas, the leafed covering worn over the male genitalia by those living the traditional village life. Their bodies were decorated with red, white and black paint. They carried large sticks, which they thrust into the ground as part of their choreography.
One of the men was more painted up than the others, he depicted the Chicken and seemed to lead the dance proceedings.
(Ginny and Chicken Man pictured)