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The Tanna Toka.

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Port Vila, Vanuatu
posts: 1,031
reviews: 12
The Tanna Toka.

The Nekowiar & Toka Ceremony

The largest cultural reunion in Vanuatu is the Nekowiar (more commonly referred as the Toka). Up to 4,000 people spend up to 3 days and nights together. Celebrating the reunion of villages, organising marriages, and other important inter tribal agreements. Taking up to a year to organise. It is more often performed at two to three year intervals and held late in the year. The atmosphere and intensity of the dancing increases with every dance. The Toka is performed on the second morning and reaches climax that evening.

On the third day after much traditional dancing, the hundred or so pigs are slaughtered and cooked. The morning killing of pigs symbolises the cleansing of all sins, following the previous night of intent "sinning" (where consenting adults are permitted to indulge in their sexual pursuits...). Much kava and lap lap is consumed in an awesome feast. It is hard to know the exact date of the Toka, so one must allow at least 2 weeks in the country to be able to jump on a plane as soon as its announced a few days prior to its start. Here is a friends images on the 2006 Toka (they follow a set program so you can exect the same.


Sydney, Australia
posts: 71
reviews: 54
41. Re: The Tanna Toka.

Thanks for the up date and sorry to hear about your computer troubles...hope it's all ok now....

Port Vila, Vanuatu
posts: 1,031
reviews: 12
42. Re: The Tanna Toka.

Here are some images of the Women Dance at Nekoviar Toka:


Enjoy :-)

New Zealand
posts: 2,232
reviews: 227
43. Re: The Tanna Toka.

I really enjoyed those photos. Fantastic costumes, and interesting use of some modern materials!

Sydney, Australia
posts: 71
reviews: 54
44. Re: The Tanna Toka.

Wow, what an amazing experience...thanks so much for persevering to put these photos up...they are truely spectacular....

Brisbane, Australia
posts: 678
reviews: 54
45. Re: The Tanna Toka.

Thanks John,

What an amazing spectacle. All that colour...I can hardly take it all in just looking at the photos, you must have been in wonder of them. I love that the ladies use tinsel as well as what I would assume is more traditional costume. It adds a modern twist.

Those women literally danced up a storm.......A dust storm! One day I might find myself in the right place at the right time to see it in person. Where there is life there is hope....right!

Orlando, Florida
posts: 6
reviews: 20
46. Re: The Tanna Toka.

John, thank you for all of the wonderful pictures, they put me right in the moment!

posts: 16
reviews: 3
47. Re: The Tanna Toka.

I just read there us a rumour that there is only to be one more Toka? Surely just a myth?


Port Vila, Vanuatu
posts: 1,031
reviews: 12
48. Re: The Tanna Toka.

Thanks chubbnut, read the article which was nicely written but doubt very much there will be only one Nekowar Toka in the future, it is a too important Tanna cultural event. My views are that although the event is still awesome for some, this one was the least interesting from the four I have attended. It seems that each successive one has been smaller and less spectacular than the previous one.

Few personal observations:

- There has been a declining number of participators (dancers) over the years

- They are becoming less culturally vibrant and have become more of a party

I may be totally wrong (and hope I am), but the modern world is creeping ever so slowly into village life, the Toka included. 10 years ago women danced with handmade papyrus bras, others bare breasted…. 5 years later they wore western made bras, now they are taking photos of it with their iphones.

Been o/seas hence a litle quiet on TA, I have more pics coming, will let you know :-)

49. Re: The Tanna Toka.

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