Vanuatu is special because it has retained its culture and customs resisting the pressure of western societies.  Most of Vanuatu is Christian and there are other predominant western influences but the people of Vanuatu are very deliberate in there adoption of western ways.  They understand the value of their traditional approach to life and the are reluctant to change.

This can be experience first hand at the Mavoonlefu Village Cultural Experience.

Vanuatu's history is very recent.  The first arrivals in Vanuatu crossed from Papua New Guinea about 3,200 years ago.  The first people were nomadic sea travelers that quickly moved to New Caledonia and Fiji.  They landed only on smaller islands and didn't build permanent establishments.  They are known as the Lapita People. 

The Lapita People were believed to be seafaring people that harvested from the sea and traded with land based agrarian villages.  They were the first people to push humanity into the South Pacific and led the way for others to follow.  The only trace left of these people are the camps they built for a celebration centered around sea turtles at the time of egg laying.  These celebrations involved the creation of ceremonial pots that were highly decorated.

The oldest site discovered so far south of Papua New Guinea is on Aore Island just outside Aore Island Resort.

This site has yielded an number of very surprising finds.  The first surprise is the age.  The age is determined by dating charcoal found in fire pits. The fact that this site is older than sites further North could be explained.   As the celebrations were held on the sea shore it is possible that older sites existed but were destroyed so the dating in itself does not indicate that these people moved so quickly south.

The other surprising find was obsidian tools found at the site that are from New Britain in Papua New Guinea.   This clearly indicates that these people moved from PNG all the way to Vanuatu in a single generation or just a number of years.  Look at a map to see how far they traveled in so short a time after arriving in PNG over 15,000 years before.  This discovery is only now working its way through the academic community and will lead to some interesting new theories on the migration of man in this region.

There are plans to continue this archeological dig and offer the public the opportunity to participate.  To learn more contact Aore Island Resort.

 

Navigation Problems?  Click here for site index

Santo Today sponsored by Rotary Club of Santo;

Contact Santo Today with your questions or comments