A new day...Oops, the same day!...Cannibalism in the South Pacific...

Cute, but after a little research, we found this "cooking pot" to stir us dreadful thoughts of life for many in decades past on many islands in the South Pacific.
 Over the millennium, cannibalism has been prevalent in certain parts of the world.  We've all watched it depicted in a variety of movies over the years whereby humans were cooked in a large pot such as that in our main photo and consumed not so much but as a form of spiritual and cultural significance.

During the visit to Mystery Island, we noticed over a dozen tour booking spots such as this.
Of course, the concept of such savagery is repulsive in most cultures throughout the world but when practiced, it carried a powerful message to those who had the potential of being captured for such a barbaric end to life.

Many types of trinkets were offered for sale in a long row of shops.
Please read the following article we found interesting in our research from this site:

"Culture Facts

Where: Throughout the Pacific Islands, but only in days of yore.
What’s it about: Eating your enemy as the ultimate disgrace – the stuff of seafaring legends.
How to join in: We advise not – in fact, steer clear if you want to stay out of the cooking pot.

When the Pacific Islands were first ‘discovered’ by Europeans, they soon gained a reputation for being a fierce and hostile place where tribal warfare and cannibalism were rife. During the early 19th century, if you were a sailor who became shipwrecked in the Pacific Islands, you probably wouldn’t live to tell the tale but would end up in the cooking pot. (Continued below).

We walked the entire length of the shops perusing their wares.
The intensity and significance of cannibalism varied greatly across the islands, but it was generally believed that by eating your enemies you would absorb some of their better qualities such as bravery and strength. More importantly, it was also the ultimate revenge to eat the body of someone you despised; the conclusive domination of the enemy and a major humiliation for their family. 

Warriors usually kept a memento of their victim, or at least put another notch in their club. Necklaces, hairpins or ear-lobe ornaments carved of human bone were often kept, or possibly the skull would be made into a drinking bowl called a ‘yaqona’. The whole affair would be celebrated with song, dance and formal sacrificial rites. Men would sing the ‘cibi’ or death dance, and women the ‘dele’ in which they would sexually humiliate the corpse. Bodies were usually brought back to the village spirit house and offered to the war god before being eaten.

Today cannibalism has long since disappeared although it is still very much a part of the legends and history that make up the mystique of the Pacific Islands.

By Debbie Fabb"
A few days ago, we visited Mystery Island, an island in the Vanuatu chain of islands as indicated below:
Vanuatu is a South Pacific archipelago made up of 83 small islands that are of volcanic origin and cover around 12000sq km. Around 65 of the islands are inhabited. The total population of Vanuatu is just over 200,000.
The outdoor cafe was packed with cruise passengers.
It was during the visit to Mystery Island, Vanuatu that for the first time, we saw a "cooking pot" that was both fascinating and frightening at the same time.  Neither of us cared to enter the pot for photos when a long queue of passengers waited for their own personal photo op. 

Some passengers wandered down the path to the Kava ceremony.  After our four month stay in Fiji, we were familiar enough with Kava to pass this by.

It definitely was intriguing to see the cooking pot imagining days of yore and a time and place we were grateful we'd never experienced.  Our own lives easy lives appear so safe and insignificant from that of the lives of others from centuries ago when hardship and fear motivated the actions and responses each and every day.
The pristine white sand beach was very appealing.
It's these types of encounters that rock us to the core of how fortunate we are to live during this period in time, although in many ways, today, throughout the world that same sense of hardship and fear predicates the daily actions of billions of citizens.
The colorful scene at the beach in Mystery Island.
As much as we fear the result of natural disaster and circumstances beyond our control, our biggest fear and circumstances may center around that which us humans perpetrate in our desire for power, greed, and dominance. 
Signs posted promoting the many tourist-type activities
No, in today's world we don't have to fear the "cooking pot" but in essence many of the fear we face present an equally imposing demise of humanity.  May we all pray for our mutual safety and cohesiveness in protecting our people and our vast world in front of us.

Be well.

Photo from one year ago today, May 1, 2016:

In Bali, these types of stone statues are frequently included in new construction design to maintain the integrity of the Balinese culture.  For more details, please click here. (We're unable to post the one year ago link due to the poor Wi-Fi signal aboard the ship).


Ankur jha said...

Thanks for sharing.

Jessica said...

Ankur jha, thank you for commenting!
Kindest regards,
Jess & Tom

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