Islands of Vanuatu

Australia & Pacific | | August 1, 2010 at 12:00 am




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Location:

It is known as the Republic of Vanuatu and is an island cum nation. Vanuatu is located in the South Pacific Ocean. The origin of the islands is volcanic in nature and it is an archipelago. A cluster or chain of islands is known as an archipelago.

It is located to the northeast of New Caledonia, east of northern Australia; it is to the southeast of Solomon Islands, and west of Fiji.

Vanuatu islands

About the Islands:

The archipelago island of Vanuatu is made up of small 82 islands. 65 of these geological new islands of volcanic origin are inhabited. Some of the islands in the ascending order of size are Anatom, Epi, Tanna, Ambrym, Efate, Malakula, and Espiritu. Mount Tabwemasana is the highest point in Vanuatu on the island of Espiritu Santo which is at 1,879 meters.

There are many active volcanoes on the islands of Vanuatu including volcano Lopevi. There are many underwater volcanoes as well surrounding the islands. Many of the islands of the archipelago are steep, have little permanent fresh water source, and have unstable soil. The shoreline can be rocky and has rapidly dropping fringing reefs.

Vanuatu Volcanoes

Flora and fauna:

There are tropical forests on the islands of Vanuatu. But there are small numbers of animal and plant species to be found on the island. Few salt water crocodiles are found in the mangroves. The area is rich in sea life with more than four thousand species of marine mollusks. Some like the coneshell and stonefish are poisonous.

Salt water crocodiles

Climatic conditions:

The conditions on the island of Vanuatu are sub tropical. The conditions can wary between hot to warm rainy weather for nine months of the year. There also is the chance of encountering cyclones. Then there is three to four months of cool and dry conditions on the island.

There is rainfall very month of the year. The island of Vanuatu has a long rainy season. The driest months on the islands are from June through November. The hot and wettest months can be seen from December to April.

Culture:

A strong but diverse culture is visible on the islands of Vanuatu. The diversity is because of regional and the foreign influences. The islands are divided into three cultural regions. In the north a person is said to be wealthy by how much he can give away. Pigs especially the ones that have rounded tusks are a symbol of wealth and pride. Melanesian culture of the people who first inhabited these islands dominates the central region. Many villages have a nakamal or the club house of the village where the men meet to drink kava. The villages also have male and female only sections.

Vanuatu culture

Music:

The music in the island is traditional music which is thriving in the rural areas. The instruments for the music are usually idiophones. There can be drums of various sizes and shapes, rattles, slit gongs which are used along with the music. String band music is another modern popular form of music involving guitars, popular songs and ukulele.

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