This is part 3 of my write up of the 4th Vanuatu National Arts Festival, it will probably make more sense if you start from Part 1.

By now I was in a routine, of paddling the SUP ashore at Litslits (litz-litz), to be greeted by the pickininies (which is the Bislama word for children, it is not the racist slur, this word has become in America (the world is going mad)).

I would give the paddle of the SUP to the bigger pre-pubescent boys for them to use the SUP, with strict instructions to stop when the tide went out, which they inevitably did.

 on my walk up the road sometimes I would see the volley ball I had given them on the day I arrived. A cheap $10 soccer ball is not going to last long with the boys from Lamap using it hard.then I would flag down what passed for buses/taxis here, the back of a ute,

due to the festival a lot were already fully loaded after a few minutes one with room for me, would come by, for the 2km drive to Lakatoro. I was the first off, to get this photo of my ridethen I would walk around to the front, to give the driver  100 vatu ($1.20AUD)

Day 4 was the Presidents turn to spend a day at the festival.

again been led in, by the paramount chiefs from all over Vanuatu


then it was into the Cultural Dancing

they can still get away with black face (a mixture of soot and oil)the effort they have put into their consumes and dance rehearsals is mammoth

2 days later, I am missing the tamtams

the stand was getting fullerhave to love this guys platted beard onto the next cultural dancethe next cultural dance

Across from the sports grounds were the Festival was been held was the Lakatoro market, where I would head to for fresh (organic) sustenance next up, the boys from Lakona Bay, Gaua, were back to perform some magicmy very good friend Chief Christopher was his usual exuberant selfChristopher and my “bother” Chief John leaving the fieldNext up was the Big Numbas (numbers) from North Malekula. In the old cannibal days, these guys would have been well fed

They are the clan of the white eagle, the guy in the white body paint  represents the white eagle

It was getting late in the day, and all that tamtam drumming had the crown in need of a group dance

onto the next lot of dancers, some of whom appeared from beside the grand stand

have to love this guy’s use of the colors in the Vanuatu flagand then another group of Pentecost dancers came out

they do the Punk Pogo way better than my brother and I did it 40 years ago, if only we had of had nut rattles around our ankles then (think of what it would have added to the Sex Pistols’ Anancy in the UK).

and then when I though it was all over another group of dancers appearedto hold up those massive head decorations they had to bite on a forward support

Day 5


these Rom dancer from Ambrym were better costumed and more authentic than the ones I saw the week before at Olal

I definitely wound not want a smoker near me with all the that dried banana leaf on

it  was great too see all the locals crowded around the fieldthe Big Numbas came back for another danceas did my friends from AneityumLucie from Vao had come to see the performs from Vao performalong with Mauna, Frederika and Isane

and then it was time for the closing ceremony, which entailed the host province giving each of the other  5 provinces, a pig, some pandanus mats, some yams and some kava as the boys from Gaua, where the only ones from their province there, they got the lot, which Christopher accepted carrying away the pig
it is great to be in a country, where the police don’t have a gun on their hip, or a taser, plus whatever else they haveSimon the lovely policeman on Lord Howe Island, is a 100% stickler to the bicycle helmet regulation, I would love to see his reaction to this, if it came up the main road thereI have been having an issue with the email alerts that go out when I post, if you have been only looking at my blog post when you get the email, there are now 3 more blog posts behind this one.