Pentecost Island Land Dive
Penama Province, Vanuatu
The world’s most primitive form of bungee jumping.
Each spring, just after the first yams begin to emerge from the soil, the men of the South Pacific island of Pentecost erect enormous wooden towers, some as tall as seventy-five feet, in each of the island’s villages.
The ceremony is known as N’gol, or land diving. The men climb to the top of these towers, attach two long elastic vines to their ankles, announce to the world their most intimate (and occasionally last) thoughts and then leap. The vines are supposed to catch the jumper just at the point where his hair is able to brush the ground, ritually fertilizing it for a bountiful yam harvest.
April 4, 2010
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