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Tanna Villages


Village on Tanna #2 Outrigger Canoes Washing at Hot Springs

Village on Tanna #1 Drink Kava! Village on Tanna #3

Their villages are simple. People still live in traditional huts with just one door and no widows. People on Tanna, Vanuatu rarely use modern building materials. Walls are made of local grass called wild cane; palm leaves cover roofs. They sleep on mats. There is no furniture. All their belongings are kept on the floor. There is no electricity, only kerosene lamps. Each family has a kitchen, which is in a very similar building, but with open fire in the center. Only women prepare meals. The main source of food comes from gardens located always outside the village, somewhere in the bush.


Enumakel Village Kids from Enumakel Village on Tanna #4

Each village has special hut called nakamal. This is where men meet every evening to talk and drink kava, their traditional beverage. Kastom forbids woman not only to enter nakamal, but even walk in close proximity at the time when men gather inside.


Pigs at Suplur Bay Nakamal Village on Tanna #5

Kava is a non-alcoholic intoxicating beverage drunk mainly by men in south Pacific islands. Tradition in Vanuatu is that young boys prepare kava by pouring water through chewed roots getting this way a brownish fluid. If kava is strong, narcotic effect and numbness of a tongue are visible after first shot.