Naghol Land Diving

An interesting ritual (festival) is currently taking place on the southern end of the island of Pentecost, Vanuatu. It is the Naghol Land Diving where men jump boldly from a spiked tower, hurtling to the ground attached only by jungle vines.

Between April and June every year, on a Saturday, men in the southern part of the island jump from tall towers (around 20 to 30 m) with vines tied to their feet, in a ritual believed to ensure a good yam harvest and fertility for men. The vine diving ritual is also now used to show acceptance into manhood.

Incredibly, the last reported death was in 1974 while Queen Elizabeth II was visiting the island. Apparently, the unfortunate islander died because the jump was performed too early in the year when the vines were much less elastic than usual. Legend has it that the diver died because he chose to carry a good luck charm to protect himself. It is now considered bad luck to carry a good luck charm.

Here’s a link for more information regarding this unusual ritual/festival.






About islandculturearchivalsupport

Island Culture Archival Support (ICAS) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation of records pertaining to the cultural identity of island peoples in Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia whose national and public archives, libraries, cultural centers, and business organizations are underprivileged, underfunded, and understaffed. The specific purpose for which this nonprofit corporation was formed is to support the needs of these South Pacific cultural heritage institutions by helping to preserve and make accessible records created for business, accountability or cultural purposes. The organization will endeavor to add value by providing resources or volunteers to advise, train, and work among island residents to support their efforts in building their future and preserving their collective memory through the use of modern archival techniques.
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