Procession of Gifts & Solidarity March, Vanuatu, 1 December 2014

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WEST PAPUA AND VANUATU
Kastom and Faith in Modern
Melanesian Nation-making (3)

PROCESSION OF THE GIFTS & SOLIDARITY MARCH
Fatumaru Bay to Saralana Park, Port Vila, 1 December 2014 (Vanuatu’s ‘West Papua National Day’)

West Papuan Leaders Summit on Reconciliation and Unification hosted by the Vanuatu Government, Malvatumauri National Council of Chiefs, Vanuatu Christian Council, and Pacific Conference of Churches

In consciousness, there is no distinction for Pacific Islanders between the realms of sacred and secular. The ethnic, political and religious are interdependent and unitary, delineations and boundaries between these analytical constructions problematic (Robert Wolfgramm 2004)

Wisdom is radiant and unfading, easily discerned by those who love her, found by those who seek her (Solomon, Song of Songs 6:12)

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West Papua delegation, including Teri Yaram, Jacob Rumbiak, Benny Wenda, Elizier Awom, Leonie Tanggahma, Rosa Moiwon, Frans Kapisa, Amatus Dowe, Franciscus Oeweng, Jack Wanggai, Markus Yenu, Sabi Sambon

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Ni-Vanuatu from SHEFA Province led by Maraki Vanuariki Council (their representation in the Malvatumauri National Council of Chiefs)

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Maraki Vanuariki Chief Chief Morris Kaloran, with his peoples gifts (pig, kava, taro, cassava, island cabbage, banana, sugar cane)

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Maraki Vanuariki Chief Morris Kaloran rousing the Gift Carriers into rhythmic chant for the long hot march (and heavy load)

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The Brass Band of the Vanuatu Mobile Force

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Governor Markus Yenu (behind tuba) from the Federal Republic of West Papua alongside Pastor Alan Nafuki (Executive, Vanuatu Christian Council of Churches), and West Papua’s Rosa Moiwom (far right)

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Vanuatu Mobile Force

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Vanuatu Prime Minister Joe Natuman (green sneakers) and Chief Seni Mao Tirsupe (President, Malvatumauri National Council of Chiefs) marched from Fatumaru Bay to Saralana Park

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Francois Pihaatae, General-Secretary, Pacific Conference of Churches (black tee-shirt with Morning Star insignia); Governor Markus Yenu of the Federal Republic of West Papua (behind tuba)

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Money gifted to the Federal Republic of West Papua (by a single mother from South Korea with money she’d saved for her children’s education) bought a pig for the Maraki Vanuariki Council, which, in turn, bought this pig for the Malvatumauri National Council of Chiefs

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George (father of Jacob Rumbiak jnr) leads the chant as the warriors march with their heavy load

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The distance from Fatumaru bay to Saralana Park is 2.5kms

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The Maraki Vanuariki gifts included pig, kava, taro, cassava, island cabbage, banana, and sugar cane

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West Papua delegates surrounded by Maraki Vanuariki Council and Tongoa-Shepherd Islanders from SHEFA Province: Jacob Rumbiak (blue shirt), Benny Wenda (carrying the sacred club), Alfonse Adadikam alongside Elizier Awom (Minister for Defence, Federal Republic of West Papua), and Leonie Tanggahma who flew from The Netherlands for the summit

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BANNERS: Uniting West Papua; Our Melanesian Brothers; Black is Beautiful; We Bleed Black and Red; Decolonize all Melanesian Countries; Vanuatu Supports Self-Determination Through God’s Power; Say No To Genocide

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Tongoa-Shepherd Islanders from SHEFA Province, led by Maraki Vanuariki Council, and their national politician Abel David (right, red baseball cap)

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Anticipating West Papua’s application for full membership in the Melanesian Spearhead Group in June 2015, there were plenty of PNG flags in the procession. Mary (right, orange shirt) and her husband Honore own the Orchids Holiday Home in Port Vila

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Dave Arkins, Rosemary McKay (Australia West Papua Association-Adelaide); Joe Collins, Anne Noonan (Australia West Papua Association-Sydney)

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Octovanius Mote from Lake Paniai in West Papua who flew from the USA for the summit (orange shirt, taking photos)

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Vanuatu Prime Minister’s Personal Guard

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West Papua’s Octovanius Mote (orange shirt) taking photos

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Port Vila City: Prime Minister Natuman, Chief Seni Mao Tirsupe (President, Malvatumauri National Council of Chiefs), Ralph Regenvanu MP

Francois Pihaatae, Prime Minister Joe Natuman, Chief Seni Mao Tirsupe (President, Malvatumauri National Council of Chiefs), Ralph Regenvanu MP, Governor Markus Yenu (Federal Republic of West Papua)

Francois Pihaatae (Sec-General Pacific Conference of Churches), Prime Minister Joe Natuman, Chief Seni Mao Tirsupe (President, Malvatumauri National Council of Chiefs), Ralph Regenvanu MP, and Governor Markus Yenu (Federal Republic of West Papua)

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Main street, Port Vila City

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Mural, Main Street, Port Vila

Benny Wenda riding the pig past Parliament House

Benny Wenda riding the pig past Parliament House

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Procession of The Gifts arriving in Saralana Park

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Saralana Park: Maraki Vanuariki Gifts for the Malvatumauri National Council of Chiefs (pig, kava, taro, cassava, island cabbage, banana, sugar cane)

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Raising Vanuatu flag in Saralana Park

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Silas, a ni-Vanuatu independence fighter from Tongoa-Shepherd Islands (SHEFA Province) decides to raise West Papua’s Morning Star independence flag himself

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A newspaper’s drone-camera captures the flag-raising moment; Abel David (Maraki Vanuariki Member of Parliament) looks on

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Silas raising West Papua’s Morning Star flag in Independence Park (also called Saralana Park) in Port Vila, Vanuatu

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(l-r) Elizier Awom, Jacob Rumbiak, Benny Wenda, Teri Yaram, Alfonse Adadikam, Barak Sope (Prime Minister of Vanuatu 1999-2001)

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Maraki Vanuariki Chief Morris Kaloran instructing West Papua’s Benny Wenda on the language and technical skills of ritual slaughter

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(l-r) Amateus Dowe, Jacob Wainggai, Elizier Awom, Jacob Rumbiak, Teri Yaram, Alfonse Adadikam, Barak Sope (former Prime Minister of Vanuatu)

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Benny Wenda with the sacred club brought out of Fel’s Cave for the ceremony

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Ritual killing of the pig

Ritual Slaughtering of the pig

Ritual killing of the pig

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Maraki Vanuariki Chief Morris Kaloran offering to appoint a professional from Tonga Island to kill the pig (i)

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Maraki Vanuariki Chief Morris Kaloran offering to appoint a professional from Tonga Island to kill the pig (ii)

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Prime Minister Joe Natuman, and Chief Seni Mao Tirsupe (President, Malvatumauri National Council of Chiefs)

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Chief Seni Mao Tirsupe (President, Malvatumauri National Council of Chiefs) and Pastor Alan Nafuki (Vanuatu Christian Council of Churches) with Elizier Awom (Minister for Defence, Federal Republic of West Papua) and Benny Wenda (West Papua National Parliament)

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Chief Seni Mao Tirsupe and Pastor Alan Nafuki with Elizier Awom (Minister for Defence, Federal Republic of West Papua), Benny Wenda and Teri Yaram (West Papua National Parliament), and Francis Uweng

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Chief Seni Mao Tirsupe and Pastor Alan Nafuki with Teri Yaram and Sabi Sambon (West Papua National Parliament); Amateus Dowe (West Papua National Coalition for Liberation); Jacob Rumbiak and Frans Kapisa (Federal Republic of West Papua)

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Chief Seni Mao Tirsupe and Pastor Alan Nafuki

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Reconciliation and Unity in Saralana Park, Vanuatu

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Reconciliation and Unity in Saralana Park, Vanuatu. Jack Wainggai, Teri Yaram, Markus Yenu, Jacob Rumbiak, Elizier Awom, Sabi Sambon

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Reconciliation and Unity, Saralana Park, Vanuatu, 1 December 2014 (Jacob Rumbiak and Teri Yaram)

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The first formal alliance between the Papuan highland tribes and the Melanesian coastal tribes of West Papua (Benny Wenda and Jacob Rumbiak)

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Prime Minister’s Guard marks the site declared ‘West Papua’s Independence Day’, Saralana Park, 1 December 2014

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