Turning Back Time

The story of the Pacific Island nation of Vanuatu—one of only a few isolated places on Earth where many people still live as they did thousands of years ago and others are returning to the old way.

Produced by NHNZ

The Pacific Island nation of Vanuatu is one of only a few isolated places on Earth where true Stone Age culture and tradition remain. There are even a few places in this tropical island chain where people are turning their backs on 200 years of ‘western ways’ and returning to the bush to rediscover the ways and traditions of their past, which they call ‘kastom’.

On a remarkable voyage into the primitive past we witness the custom of land-diving and the unique ceremonial dances where black magic is used to ward off evil; we meet some of the ni-Vanuatu (local people), including local snake dancers and the John Frum cult who await the return of an American soldier; and we discover how the ni-Vanuatu have retained their culture while so many other indigenous peoples of the world have lost theirs.

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