Can You Do This? In Vanuatu, Men Jump Off Wooden Towers To Prove How Strong They Are • illuminaija
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Can You Do This? In Vanuatu, Men Jump Off Wooden Towers To Prove How Strong They Are

   
   

Can You Do This? In Vanuatu, Men Jump Off Wooden Towers To Prove How Strong They Are

The indigenous population, called ni-Vanuatu, is overwhelmingly Melanesian, though some of the outlying islands have Polynesian populations.

The country officially the Republic of Vanuatu is an island country located in the South Pacific Ocean. Its men are famous for the land diving ritual.

The Vanuatu men jump off wooden towers around 20 to 30 meters high, with two tree vines wrapped around the ankles. The dive is done by tying vines to each ankle.

The tradition has however developed into a tourist attraction.

According to the Guinness World Records, the g-force experienced by those at their lowest point in the dive is the greatest experienced in the non-industrialized world by humans.

Origin

The origin of land diving is described in a legend of a woman who was dissatisfied with her husband, Tamalie.

It is claimed that the woman was upset that her husband was too vigorous regarding his s3xual wants, so she ran away into the forest. Her husband followed her, so she climbed a banyan tree.

Tamalie climbed after her, and so she tied lianas to her ankles and jumped and survived.

Her husband jumped after her but did not tie lianas to himself, which caused him to plummet and die.

   
   

Can You Do This? In Vanuatu, Men Jump Off Wooden Towers To Prove How Strong They Are

Originally, women did it with respect to the original woman who did it, but husbands were not comfortable with seeing their wives in such positions, so they took the sport for themselves, and it gradually changed from trees to specifically designed wooden towers.

It is said that the men performed the original land diving so that they would not be tricked again.

The land diving ritual is associated with the annual yam harvest. It is performed annually in the months of April, May, or June. A good dive supposedly helps ensure a bountiful yam harvest.

The villagers believe that land diving can enhance the health and strength of the divers.

Can You Do This? In Vanuatu, Men Jump Off Wooden Towers To Prove How Strong They Are

A successful dive can remove the illnesses and physical problems associated with the wet season.

Furthermore, land diving is considered as an expression of masculinity, as it demonstrates boldness that was associated with the bwahri or warrior.

Nevertheless, the men who do not choose to dive or back out of diving are not humiliated as cowards.

In the Sa language, gol refers to both the tower and the land dive. The tower symbolically represents a body, with a head, shoulders, breasts, belly, genitals, and knees.

The diving platforms represent the penises and the struts beneath represent the [email protected] 

The ritual 

Although the majority of the islanders are Christian, they also adhere to the ancient beliefs.

Before dawn on the day of the ceremony, the men undergo a ritual wash, anoint coconut oil on themselves, and decorate their bodies.

The men wear traditional nambas, and the women wear traditional grass dresses and are bare-breasted.

Only the men are allowed to dive, but the dancing women provide mental support. Around 10 to 20 men in a village will jump.

The ritual begins with the least experienced jumpers on the lower platforms and ends with the most experienced jumpers on the upper platforms.

Can You Do This? In Vanuatu, Men Jump Off Wooden Towers To Prove How Strong They Are

The ideal jump is high with the jumper landing close to the ground. The goal is to brush the shoulders against the ground. The higher the jump, the more bountiful the harvest.

Before diving, the jumper can give speeches, sing songs, and make pantomimes.

The diver crosses his arms over his chest to help prevent injury to the arms. The head is tucked in so his shoulders can contact the ground.

Therefore, the divers risk a number of injuries, such as a broken neck or a concussion.

During the dive, the jumper can reach speeds of around 45 mph (72 km/h). Right after a dive, other villagers rush in and take care of the diver.

Rite Of Passage

Can You Do This? In Vanuatu, Men Jump Off Wooden Towers To Prove How Strong They Are

For boys, land diving is a rite of passage.

   
   

After the boys are circumcised at the age of around seven to eight, the boys can participate in the ritual.

When a boy is ready to become a man, he lands dives in the presence of his elders.

His mother holds a favourite childhood item, for example, a piece of cloth.

After completing the dive, the item is thrown away, demonstrating that the boy has become a man.

   
   

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