Such events as the ‘giving’ of land …are a serious event in the life and history of one’s tribe/family here. They include elders, children and grandchildren so that memory of what took place will be preserved …at least through the three generations present. All must honor the Namele by touching it respectfully, as if their own body was being consecrated.
Because I was personally adopted into the Tavue Family as a Brother seven years ago, the Ceremony thus witnessed the fact that it was turned over to me on 30 Dec 2014. ‘Puel-vun Supe’ will, in fact, soon be Leased to East of Eden along with ‘Pakakara’ once protracted formalities – the new reality of land transfer under new Kastom rules that can take up to a year – are complied with….
None of these complications will interfere though with the Project or the construction of East of Eden’s village. Both by Constitutional and by Kastom Process …we now have the ‘blessing’ to proceed. First of all, by Decision this past May , Vanuatu’s Council of Ministers ‘acknowledged and recognized’ the EdenHope Project [East of Eden is seen as Phase Two] as important to the environment of Vanuatu …and, second, the Presidents of the two Councils Of Chiefs [in Island and Province] have just decreed that our Project in Big Bay must go forward and be respected by ‘every people long Big Bay Santo’. So there are no further barriers to delay us…
On the primary ridge in this land of ours, is the Banyan Tree above right …where grandmother was buried many years ago. Her grandsons – my brothers, now only two since Elden died – were pleased to take this picture when we first visited the land. The garden is sacred.
Six weeks after the first Ceremony, Job Thomas and his family made another Ceremony to us when they turned Pakakara over to us …just as the Tavue family had done. There was a certain contagion at play …as our thirst for land would not be easily quenched. And, as is often seen here, neighboring tribes are also related …and so as our land has grown, so has our family. The border between the two lands is easily a couple of kilometers from our installation in Puel-vun Supe, so the Namele was consecrated in Ceremony and then carried by men of both families to be planted there.
Afterwards, once the Ceremony was completed, we set about the feast – a bunier of root veggies roasted in heated rocks, naalot, and extra specialties… Neighboring chiefs joined us for the pleasure such events spread in these lands. Ceremonies are vital and quite meaningful to the lives of our local families …and will be remembered across the generations that were witness to them. No one left hungry…
So here we are, this is where we have come to… we are about to receive the blessing for which East of Eden was created. I should be more excited perhaps, but an extraordinary canopy of deep satisfaction has spread over us. The first of our family [three children] have arrived. And the rest will follow in the next week or so. It is a watershed moment in the history of the world. And it comes with that special feeling when you know you are part of the evolution of Life.
All that we have waited for …is to appear. Yes, life is a miracle.