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Small Nambas


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Lack of contact with white settlers and limited number of missionaries helped Small Nambas to keep their traditional culture to these days. Not long ago, they were fierce warriors and cannibals; they opened to outsiders just a few years before the end of 20th century. Today, they share their heritage with the outside world while retaining their unique traditions. We found Small Nambas villagers on Malakula Island, Vanuatu exceptionally friendly.


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The name Small Nambas comes from the size of the leaf used by men as sheath for the most important part of their body. Besides this cover and few other leaves attached to their body, men do not wear anything. Women wear just grass skirts and shell necklaces. Hair is often decorated with feathers. Sometimes their bodies are covered with symbols. During our visit a sign of peace, a symbol that resembles a leaf was visible on many of them. The whole village performed many dances and presented their daily activities for us. They did it with a full passion, proud of their culture.

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