Pentecost Island, Vanuatu - John Seach
Penama Province


Pentecost Island is located in northern Vanuatu. It is 63 km long and 12 km wide. The island has a central mountain spine with a summit elevation of 947 m (Mt Vulmat).

The eastern side is exposed to wind and strong surf. The western side is flatter and contains more villages. Pentecost island is noted for the land diving ceremony between May and August.

Land diving (Naghol) is one of the most impressive customs in Vanuatu. Men tie vines around their ankles and dive from wooden towers over 20 m high. Sand drawing is practised on Pentecost. Between 1945 and 1947 a short lived Cargo Cult was established on the island.

Bougainville was the first European to reach the island in 1768. The locals have stories of Europeans landing on the island before this, but their origin is unknown. It may have been survivors from the failed La Perouse expedition.

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