4th Vanuatu National Arts Festival

I had an uneventful sail over from Ambrym to Uri Island on Malekula to anchor up for the 5 day Vanuatu National Arts Festival, that was been held at Lakatorothis was the 4th Nation Arts Festival since Independence 39 years ago, there are trying to get back to a 5 yearly schedule after the last one was held in Port Vila, 10years ago. People have come from all the islands, that stretch for 400miles, that make up Vanuatu, to perform their traditional custom dancers on the sports field at the Lakatoro School.  

the afternoon before the Festival opening there was the parade of the participants.

Who made their was to the assembly point in the back of utes

and then the parade started

with the big chiefs in the front

Lucie from Vao was in the crowd marching

then they all made their was onto the sports ground

there is an amazing buzz of excitement  in the air, with the visuals and sound

I got to mingle with the very friendly and obliging participants

onto the Festival proper.

Day 1 

As I was walking through Litslits (lits-lits) to the road to catch a ride to Lakatoto , the men from Lamap, were loading into utes ready to go off to be the first to perform.

Next up was Uripiv

There had been some delays in the cargo boats picking up villages from the outlying islands and a few no shows, resulting in the program becoming a piece of fiction, and I did not have a pen to write the names of the next few cultural dancing groups down.

Kuwae  from Tongoa

another, (in need of a name)

another (without a name)and anotherand Dixon Reef (were I spent a very enjoyable 5 days) was the last to perform for the day

We are only up to day 1, with another 4 days to go. this blog post is getting long enough, so I will stop here and restart in another blog post.

In the photos of me with the boys from Kuwae, my beard is getting a bit to long, so it has had a serious trim.