Photos Backlog Part 8 - Our 2nd Vanuatu Island - Tanna > and Circumcision Celebration

Sea Mist > Sold to New Owners July 2016
John and Cheryl Ellsworth
Tue 18 Oct 2011 06:17

The Island of Tanna

Port Resolution

Captain Cook named Port Resolution after his ship.  You couldn’t see where to land the dinghies from the boat, the beach was tucked around a corner.  We were invited to a Circumcism Ceremony, how lucky are we, first we get to witness a Reconciliation Ceremony, now a circumcism, of course we are not looking forward to seeing it actually done.


They are laying the cloths from every family over the food, we couldn’t understand the explanation as to why.  The actual circumcism took place two weeks prior to the ceremony, so we get to see the dances and hear the stories.




We weren’t sure what was going to happen, yet we were enjoying ourselves watching the villagers in their colourful costumes.

Next they brought a pig out tied to a pole; we knew this couldn’t be good, especially when we saw the guy with the club!

While we were closing our eyes, covering our ears and turning away from this not so special site, the villagers take this for granted and even the little kids watch, later on in our travels we learned how important this clubbing of the pig is to the village.

This was not a Walt Disney moment. But it was over we could get back to the happy dancing times but not quite yet...the cow, the goat and the turtle had not yet arrived.



They always have the dog stoning guy who throws stones at the dogs to keep them away from the food, we really needed to see some dancing at this point, these dead animals were only about 4 metres away.

Finally the three boys were escorted in, you would miss them except they were the only ones with white and green paint on their faces.


Finally the dancing!  We really did not know what to expect next!


The father of the first born male provides all of the food, the sequential sons just need a small stipend, so it may take the father four to five years to save up for the ceremony, sometimes longer.  The father of the four year old lived and worked in Port Vila, he was born in this village so it was important that his son be circumcised in the traditional way.

The villagers and yachties presented gifts to the boys; we gave these wee fellows the ever appropriate gift of utility knives.  We were not too concerned as we watch very small children carrying machetes, just a way of life here.

The boys have to stay in this compound for two weeks alone – to learn to be young men.



We took some more photos of the villagers then went off to the Yacht Club, thanking the people for allowing us to be part of the ceremony and nnoooo, we would not be able to attend the feast.  They never hang the animals after they have been killed so there is a lot of blood in the muscle of the meat, you really notice this with is not the other white meat, but brownish.




The Vanuatu people are friendly but quite reserved when you first meet them, unlike the bula bula people of Fiji.












I really like to take photos of people just being natural Many times as soon as they see the camera they stop what they are doing to look into the lens.


The proud father.  He is a taxi driver in Port Vila.

He gave the men head feathers, not sure why.



I have photos of laundry on the line from villages all over the Pacific, once again not sure why.

These two girls are twins and their little sister was telling me she was one year old.


She was quite the entertainer.


View from the Yacht Club.



Back to the boat and meat in a plastic wrapped package.