Noten Aelan Arts Festivol

Following on from the Call (Sep15) I participated in the Noten Aelan Arts Festivol (Northern Islands Arts Festival) which was a part of the provincial celebrations in the north of Vanuatu. The ceremonies had begun several months earlier, and in fact were all leveraging work over the last decade by Delly Roy Nalo of TEKS and Further Arts. It is not possible to convey the richness and beauty of the experience of witnessing and participating in the rituals and ceremonies: in either words or pictures. This was a celebration of the sacred fullness of life through an intricate layering of embodied and relational art of the highest quality. The public presentation of the performative aspects of the ceremonies took place in the centre of Luganville town, while other less public activities continued within communities and between families for several days before and afterwards. Technical issues are frustrating attempts to upload more diverse (and better quality) images. Meanwhile, the Manaro volcano on Ambae erupts 42 miles to the east. A state of emergency is declared. I gather my things and my thoughts and prepare to head north to Gaua. Words by Thomas Dick. Photos by Maya Haviland.

Chief Stanislas (in the singlet) leading the Port Orly welcome ceremony with bamboo flutes

 

Rarely seen ritual from Big Nambas in Unmet, Malekula, with breathtaking colouring and body paint.

 

Warriors from Vao showcasing their shields

 

Sea snake dance from the Banks Islands

 

Master composer, Chief Warren, and ranked woman, Sina, leading the Maewo ritual

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