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New Hebrides Film Project: Tanna Island 1973-1974

Catalog Data

Muller, Kalmun  Search this
Physical description:
reference 1 film reel (1,048 feet) sound color 16mm
archival original 1 film reel (1,048 feet) sound color 16mm
Melanesians  Search this
Tanna (Vanuatuan people)  Search this
Motion pictures (visual works)
New Hebrides
Tanna Island
Yoohnanan village
Supplementary materials: still photographs, sound recordings, publications, field notes
Footage shot on Tanna Island during 1974 in the Yoohnanan village area. Footage includes sequences of traditional <toka> and <nao> dances performed within the revitalization atmosphere of the John Frum cargo cult. One of the principle aspects of cult belief is that the millennium will be ushered in only when the Tannese return to the traditional practices which have either been formally outlawed or negatively sanctioned by missionaries and the French Condominium government. These include the resumption of dance traditions, kava drinking, and traditional dress such as the wearing of penis wrappers by males. Shots of various communal dance sequences of men and women, two young boys dancing with ceremonial swords; a mass of <nao>dancers with tall dance staffs of wild cane moving in circular maypole fashion. Adult men and boys riding astride tusker pigs as they are carried onto the ceremonial ground tied to palequin of poles; women dancing in colored grass skirts; tuskers sacrified by being clubbed to death; troupe of female dancers moving around the pigs and "riders" as they are carried onto the dance ground. (An essential reference for background information on activities depicted is: Guiart, Jean 1956 Un Siecle et Demi de Contacts Culturels a Tanna, Publications de la Societe des Oceanistes, No. 5, Musee de l'Homme: Paris.)
Muller, Kal n.d. "The John Frum Cargo Cult of Tanna (New Hebrides)", unpublished paper on deposit. Donor files, Human Studies Film Archives, 10th St. and Constitution Ave., Washington, D.C. 20560
Repository Loc.:
Human Studies Film Archives, Smithsonian Museum Support Center, Suitland, MD
Language and culture  Search this
Ceremony--dance  Search this
Dancing--as part of revitalization activities  Search this
Garb--ceremonial--vegetal decorations  Search this
Animal sacrifice--as part of ritual  Search this
Modesty--attitudes toward  Search this
Acculturation--attitudes toward expressed in ritual  Search this
Ritual objects--dance staffs  Search this
Ceremony--presentation of pigs--animal sacrifice  Search this
Millenarian movements--cargo cults  Search this
Revitalizatoin--attitudes toward acculturation  Search this
Musical instruments--guitars--drums  Search this
Music--as part of ceremony  Search this
Dance--in association with ritual and agricultural cyele  Search this
Local number:
HSFA 1975.1.2 - 12
Restrictions & Rights:
Information on reproduction and fees available from Human Studies Film Archives OK:1
See more items in:
New Hebrides Film Project: Tanna Island 1973 and 1974 [Muller, Kalmun Creator (1939- )]
Data Source:
Human Studies Film Archives