It's definitely one of the most unique experiences on your Vanuatu
holiday, for those into adrenaline experiences.If you plan to visit Vanuatu
in April or May, make arrangements in advance to go to south Pentecost island, where you can witness the traditional Naghol ceremony. This ceremony
involves famous Vanuatu land dive, or land diving.
This age-old traditional ceremony is probably from where the
modern bungy jumping craze comes.
Pentecost Island, Vanuatu video - provides highlights of
tourism on Pentecost island, including Tarere cultural show, Lautano custom stories, Asaola custom dance, local
handicrafts, sand drawing, cooking in bamboo, Lavatu market, and a whole lot more...
Part of Pentecost
Anyway, it’s called land dive and the local Pentecost islanders have
been doing it for eons. But it’s nothing to do with ‘adrenaline buzz’, although I’m sure the land divers get it –
it’s to do with centuries old tale of a woman who ran away from her husband who was beating her.
National Geographic's Land Divers - This
videospeaks about land diving
ritual,with somerare and
She hid in a tall Banyan tree from husband, but he found her and
tried to talk her down – if she came down of her own he won’t beat her… well, not much. If on the other hand he had
to climb to get her, she’ll be really sorry, so he said. But she didn’t budge and he climbed up the tree. When he
was about to grab her, she jumped off the tree. Feeling either sorry for her apparent death, or maybe sorry that he
didn’t get her, he too jumped after her. What he didn’t realize is that while he was climbing up the tree, the
woman tied Lianas vines to her ankles before jumping when he was about to reach her. She lived, he didn’t. At least
that’s how the ancient tale goes.
Vanuatu land diving scene from Pentecost
as portrayed on a wall mural in Port Vila town.
Hence the ‘land dive’ tradition or ‘kastom’, known locally as Naghol
or N’ghol. The land dive celebrates this ancient legend, but is also a fertility ritual, to ensure the following
year’s good yam harvest. As well as land divers proving their manhood before their women, who are not allowed to
participate in the land dive preparations – only watch the men jump.
And it’s all done ‘au naturel’ – no bungy cords there or safety
checks – just the green jungle vines, which each of land divers prepares himself. It’s a sobering, memorable, once
in lifetime land dive experience – not to be missed. But you must book a few months in advance – the number of
visitors to Pentecost island is strictly limited.