Whether the Tanna deification of his late father will be passed on to the king is unknown. Credit: Ben Bohane /AFP
A remote South Pacific tribe that worships the late Duke of Edinburgh prepares to host a king's coronation party.
Vanuatu's villagers on Tanna Island raise the Union flag, dance and drink kava , an intoxicating drink made from crushed roots, according to a local leader.
As the king will be crowned at Westminster Abbey on Saturday, people will gather 16,000 miles away in the villages of Jakel and Jaohnanen.
The party will likely feature three framed portraits of Prince Philip donated to the tribe by Buckingham Palace in recognition of their devotion to the late Duke of Edinburgh.
“It's going to be a big celebration – we're talking about 5,000 to 6,000 people coming together to celebrate this king's coronation,” Chief Johnson Iacapasse told ABC Radio's Pacific Beat.
about 100 leaders arrive. The ceremony will start at 8:00 in the morning and the flag-raising will take place at approximately 10:30.
“There are many events. At night, after drinking cava, women and men will dance together, so it will be great.
“This is another thing that will bring back the history of England and Tanna and continue to remember the friendship. on this island.”
He described the king as “really important to the people of Tanna. You will see many people believe and celebrate the prince's coronation".
The villagers, who still wear grass skirts and grass-woven penis covers, will exchange gifts of food and kava.
“People are so excited and looking forward to this day, everyone in Tanna is so excited,” the chef said.
The late duke sent several signed photos of himself to the islanders. Credit: Dan McGarry/AFP
Ties between the UK and Vanuatu date back to a time when the archipelago of more than 80 islands was a jointly ruled colony known as the New Hebrides. English and French.
The agreement was known as the “Condominium”, but the confusion caused by the parallel systems of law, education and government in English and French was so great that it was nicknamed the “Pandemonium”.
The colony gained independence in 1980. and was renamed Vanuatu. Unlike countries such as Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Papua New Guinea, this is not a Commonwealth state and King Charles is not the head of state.
But the connections remain deep. The late Duke of Edinburgh, who died in 2021 at the age of 99, was known to the islanders in pidgin English as “big guy number one, his bilong Meeses [Queen Elizabeth II]”.
Cult, famous anthropologists as the Prince Philip Movement, which originated several decades ago and has long considered him a deity.
There was an ancient prophecy on Tanna, which said that the pale-skinned spirit of a warrior from the island would go far in search of a powerful woman on whom to get married.
When the late duke visited the New Hebrides with the late queen in 1974, he became known as a returning spirit.
He gave a white pig to a member of the tribe during his visit to the capital of Port Vila, and a strong bond was established between them.
The villagers still believe that he was from Tanna.
He was well aware of this cult – starting in the 1970s, he sent signed photos of himself to the islanders, and in return received a traditional pig slaughter club called nal nal.
The island is stricken with “evil”. twins '
It is unclear if the late duke's deification will be passed on to the king so that he, too, will be considered a living god.
Tanna, which boasts an active volcano called Mount Yasur. , was hit hard by two tropical cyclones dubbed the “evil twins” in March.
HMS Spey, a Royal Navy patrol ship currently stationed in the region, delivered 10,000 liter water tanks and other humanitarian aid during a mission to Vanuatu last week.
The crew visited Tanna where they were greeted with a traditional ceremonial reception with dancing and singing.