Most Thrilling Cultural Experiences From Land Diving Festival At Pentecost Island In Vanuatu

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You may have seen people jump from a certain height into the water, but have you ever seen someone jump from a high tower to the ground? Pentecostal Islanders in the southern portion had no problem jumping from 100 feet without any safety gear. It is possible to obtain much more exciting cultural experiences from the Nagole Land Diving Festival in Vanuatu.

First, we will start this story by looking at some memorable moments of this thrilling event.

Source: internationaltraveller.com
Source: internationaltraveller.com
Source: internationaltraveller.com

How do you feel when you see this jump from about 100 feet? Behind this dangerous jump are a lot of exciting things.

High yield is the main objective

The Nagol land diving ceremony is conducted annually in April, May, or June in conjunction with the yam harvest. Divers would perform immediately following the yam harvest to thank the gods for ensuring another fruitful crop. A good dive helps ensure that there are many yams to pick. Islanders have traditionally believed that the higher the jump, the higher the yield.

A successful jump requires a strong tower

The tower built on a hill for the land-diving ceremony is about 100 feet tall.

Source: en.wikipedia.org

The tall structure is usually built in two to five weeks with the assistance of twenty to thirty workers. The men freshly cut strong trees and vines to make the body.

Source: National Geographic/Youtube

Soft floor

The soft mud on the floor makes it easy to slip and fall.

Source: National Geographic/Youtube

The jumper's life depends on the strength of the vine.

A village elder chooses the vines that will be used to jump because this task requires considerable caution since it could cost the jumper their life. However, based on their prior experience, they decided to match each jumper’s weight without mechanical calculations. For safety, vines must be elastic, flexible, and loaded with sap. It’s essential to get the right length of rope because If it’s too long, the diver could hit the ground hard, and  If it’s too short, the diver could hit the tower.

Source: vanuatu.travel

The beginning of the festival is wonderful

At the beginning of the ceremony, the men and the women dance to the rhythm of their feet. Men cover only their lower bodies, exposing their upper bodies, while women wear grass skirts with bare breasts.

Source: en.wikipedia.org

A member of the dance group steps forward and begins climbing the tower, and the chants get louder and louder as soon as a jumper appears.

Source: National Geographic/Youtube

A few people come to help him, and two vigorous vines are tied around his ankles.

Source: takingthemike.com

When the diver reaches their designated diving board, they raise their arms and ask the dancers for emotional support. The singing and dancing that can be heard below are potent. The level of the crowd’s yells and whistles reaches their highest point.

The diver makes a fantastic leap of faith while crossing his arms close to his chest. They are trying to put as much distance between him and the sharp edges of the tower.

Starting the jump

Source: takingthemike.com

Falling down

Source: takingthemike.com

Each jump reach to the bottom at a speed around 45 mph (72 km/h)

Source: takingthemike.com

Moment of hit the ground

Source: takingthemike.com
Source: takingthemike.com

Helpers rush in and attempt to lift the diver safely.

 

Source: takingthemike.com

Pentecostal Islanders respect tradition

Divers perform numerous rituals before diving. They avoid having sexual relations with women for a few days, and the night before a leap, they sleep under the tower to fend off evil spirits. On the day of the celebration, men wash their bodies and use various oils to enhance their appearance.

Each jumper has an opportunity to give some speech, sing songs, and make pantomimes to the audience before the jump.

Source: National Geographic /Youtube

Do you feel fear?

When you jump from 100 feet, you’re sure to feel a sense of dread. When a swimmer was asked this question, his answer was as follows.

“This is our annual festival. Our harvest will be good this year if we all leap successfully. We are quite proud of it. As a result, we are not afraid. The majority of the swimmers have prior swimming expertise. Children leap from below.” The senior jumper stated.

A child's jump

The ritual begins with a jumper with minimal experience with the lowest height. Gradually more experienced jumpers participate, and the jump height gradually increases. The event ends with the most experienced jumper jumping from the top of the tower.

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When questioned why you’re taking such a risk, an elder swimmer gives this response.

” Most people do it to give some respect to their tradition while some take the jump for fun. Divers’ health and strength improve when they dive on land. It is also a way for men to show their strength.”

Usually, at a ceremony, about ten divers perform the jump and adopt different postures.

The way one diver jumps are photographed from above is fantastic. This diver jumps backward, and even looking down is frightening.

Source: National Geographic/Youtube
Source: National Geographic/Youtube

Look at the facial expressions on below image,

Source: National Geographic/Youtube

The origin of the land diving

According to legend, the ceremony was started by a woman whose husband sexually harassed her. Because her husband was sexual harassment, this woman ran away to the forest. She climbed a banyan tree since her spouse was following her. After she climbed the tree, her husband followed suit, so she leaped down from amid the bound vines. However, her husband fell to his death without the vine.

It was initially female-only ceremony, but subsequently, males were concerned about their wives engaging in such risky behavior. As a result, men gained control over land diving throughout time. They gradually moved the game from the trees to specially made wooden structures

Foreigners and ladies are not allowed

Although some foreigners are eager to participate in this event, it is strictly prohibited due to the widespread belief that there would be a poor crop.

Even if we find it terrifying to carry out such ridiculous rites, it is a little matter to the indigenous people. Soon, we expect to be able to present you with a wide variety of distinct tribal customs through Zelus365. I’m interested in hearing your thoughts on these traditions.

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