This half-day tour is a relaxing way to experience one of Santo’s famous blue holes. Visit a Traditional Custom Village. Immerse yourself in the culture and traditions of the local Ni-Vanuatu people.
Your tour begins with a lazy drive through the rugged countryside of Santo, where you will see and experience the many uses of the nativeflora; be sent back in time as you explore wreckage from World War II and take a look at local cattle farms and coconut plantations – the backbone of the Ni-Vanuatu economy.
Once you arrive at Vil Vil Custom Village you will be welcomed by the Chief and his community with traditional songs and dances depicting rituals and traditions passed down from generation to generation. Get caught up in the tribal atmosphere, with the hypnotic banging of the tam tams and harmonic voices of these proud people. All men, women and piccaninnies (children) have their place and role within the village. As you are taken through the different areas of the village, you will learn how imperative each role is to their success and the survival of the village.
The men primarily spend their days building and maintaining the huts and Nakamal of the village. Ni- Vanuatu use leaves from the Natangora palm for roofing their homes. The leaf, which can last as long as 15 years and survive terrific storms and cyclones, is made from the local Natangora tree.
Another important job for the men is the cultivating and preparation of Kava. A relative of the pepper plant, the kava roots are ground and mixed with water to create a narcotic drink sculled from a coconut shell. Traditionally used in ceremonies, Kava is now widely drunk for its relaxing properties, at the end of a hard days work. The Nakamal is where the men and boys spend their afternoons. A hut which is taboo to women, it is the place where men prepare and drink the kava, recite traditional songs and pass on the skills of their ancestors to their sons.
The Women learn from an early age the skills required to make baskets, mats and custom dress from the Pandanus plant. The long leaves are stripped and slashed into thin strips, which are then sun dried. To create the variety of colours used to decorate when weaving, a vegetable is crushed and its colouring boiled with the strips. Once dried, they are ready for weaving.
The Vil Vil Village people are proud to share their heritage with you, and it is their simplistic lifestyle and inherent happiness which makes this tour so rewarding.