Tanna

Tanna


Tanna is one of the most Southern islands of the Vanuatu archipelago. This Island is populated almost entirely by Melanesians who follow a more traditional lifestyle than many other islands, making this place ideal for discovering local culture and traditions from the earliest times.


This small land houses one of the most famous attractions of Vanuatu – Mount Yasur – which is also the world’s most accessible active volcano. Over centuries, Mount Yasur has forged Tanna with huge black sand dunes. When travelers walk on this stark moonscape, they have the impression to be in a new galaxy. During the night, visitors can enjoy the beautiful fireworks from the crater.

And when you get lower from the steep slopes of Mount Yasur, the landscape turns into undisturbed rainforests, coffee plantations, grass plains where wild horses gallop in total freedom, hot springs and waterfalls. Plunge into the vastness of the Pacific, admire the beautiful coral reef and explore the underwater caves as well as the stunning blue hole for experiencing the best of Vanuatu.

When the volcano has finished working its magic on you, meet kastom villagers wearing nambas (penis wrappers) and grass skirts. Immerse yourself by attending to tribal ceremonies. If you are lucky, you could assist to “Nekowiar Cermony” which is Vanuatu’s most spectacular cultural events with 3 days of gift giving ceremonies, custom dances and feasting. This unique ceremony occurs every 3 to 4 years and gathers all the villages of the island. Local chiefs have formed marine and wildlife sanctuaries Christianity, cargo cults (John Frum, in particular) and kastom are important, and all natural phenomena have a fourth dimension of spirituality and mystique. 


LEGEND | description

During a ceremony in a village in Tanna, the elders had just completed a ritual ceremony to receive messages from the spirits. From the darkness emerged a white man who told the elders that the people of Tanna had lost their way, and needed to throw off the trappings of Western culture and return to a life of kastom. This apparition was given the name John Frum, and the message it carried struck a cord with the native people who began rebelling against colonial settlers that had taken over the nation. Whether they could feel the traditional way of life slipping away or were tired of elevated position the colonialists placed themselves in upon arriving to the islands, the people of Vanuatu mobilized behind the spirit of John Frum, casting their money and material goods into the ocean and moving back towards a simplified way of life.