Historic Family Treasure Donated to Vanuatu National Museum

I came across an interesting story from the Vanuatu Daily Post a couple of weeks ago that I have been wanting to share. A treasured wooden bath tub used about seven decades ago has been handed over by a family of Imere (Mele) village to the National Museum of Vanuatu for safe keeping.

The wooden bath tub belonged to Malau Numalo and his wife Leisina Numalo who used it to bathe babies when the family lived on Imere Tenuku (island), now Hideaway Island. They moved out of the small island on August 28, 1950 to the main land where the biggest village in Vanuatu is located today.

The artifact was handed over by a representative of the historical committee of Imere, Maitonga Lulu Sopuso, to the Curator of the National Museum, Kaitip Kami following a one-week exhibition of held by Imere village community members from November 7 thru 11, 2016 at the National Achieve building in Port Vila. Mr. Kami went to Imere to receive the artifact with the assistance of former Imere MP Roro Sambo.

Mr. Sopuso explained that it was hard to buy bathing basins for babies so families carved their own from wood. “Some visitors from outside the country are most interested in such objects and they may try to buy them, but you must keep them because they are your identity,” the curator appealed.

Mr. Sopuso expressed his gratitude to the families of Imere for letting the National Museum have the invaluable artifact for safe keeping and displaying for people to see. Mr. Kami also appealed to those people who have similar sorts of historical artifacts such as wood and stones carvings and so on to not sell them but keep them safe for future generations to see and learn from.

To see a photo of the bath tub feel free to click here.

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Erakor Island, Vanuatu

 

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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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