Malekula Island in the Republic of Vanuatu has a history of cannibals and warrior tribes. The violence was faded out a hundred years ago, but the old culture of remote peoples can still be seen by visitors today. A half-day tour that highlights this culture is the Big Nambas Tour at Mae. The Big Nambas, locally known as the Nalint people, have their origins in the interior jungles of northern Malekula.
They are an inward-looking people, but show hospitality and friendship to visitors. Twenty minutes north of the Norsup airport, Chief Jean-Marc and his village share their culture and traditional dances three days a week. The farm-based modern culture is on display as the guest arrives with a tour of Mae. Visitors will see how the Nalint live today on a guided tour past traditional houses, farms, plantations, the school and church.
The historical culture is then seen on the dancing ground, where traditional dances from the tribeâs past are displayed in traditional dress and tribal language. Seven ceremonies will be performed, telling the stories of the Nalint people, beginning with a welcome dance. Other dances celebrate new births, harvests, coming of age, preparation for hunting a significant life ceremony called the Namagi.
The Big Nambas have a desire to share their rich customs and preserve their heritage. This tour ends with refreshments and photo opportunities alongside traditionally dressed members of the tribe. The hand-woven headdresses and skirts of the women and sparse, jungle attire of the men will leave a lasting impression.