Land Diving

Event Category: Cultural Experience

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  • Locals traditionally dive from towers 20-30 meters (~60-90 feet) onto the ground with vines attached to their ankles in order to ensure good yam crops.  The dive symbolizes fertilization and the goal is for the head to touch the ground just slightly.  The vines are taken from the jungle and approved by the chief diver, but not standardized in any way.  Now it’s become a touristic event as well as tradition.  Diving can only occur April and June as the vines are not suitable for safety in the offseason.  In 1974 they dove for Queen Elizabeth II in the offseason, when the vines are wet and absorb more moisture, and the diver broke his back, later dying in the hospital.  This and a similar death in 2006 are the only deaths in their memory of the event.  Chief Luke was there when we were there and is an excellent host!!!

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