Il flusso della vita (photos credit: Vanuatu Daily Post 2016)

The ground breaking ceremony   1

The Flow of Life (written by myself) – Life does not start at birth, death is not an end. Deities and ancestors show the way. This socio-cosmic movement is made visible through the circulation of goods, it maintains the social fabric of the lands and their fertility and it restores the world order. This movement will link the three levels of the cosmos; the land surface, the sub-aquatic or underworld and the celestial. Thus, men are merely the guards, servants and masters subjected to the social relations that compose the whole society.

The ground breaking ceremony has therefore a very sacred meaning in Melanesia and Polynesia, the whole society divides in order to rebuild itself (the frame of its social and socio-cosmic relations) through reviewing all the essential facts of the Constitution – in its absolute meaning – of the country (lands). Because the coherence of a society, a people, is only understood as beyond the aggregation of social relationships, beyond the population counting, beyond a territorial extension, land tenure and beyond any treasure. The society thus rises to the dignity of a whole, of the community (universitas in the Middle Ages). The kinship vocabulary is the language, music is the abstract form, the ritual or ceremony is the action. It can be stated that Melanesians consider that social relations are producing things and more generally the world, in the same way as we consider that work produces goods. Consequently, they consider that the land has been produced by the social relations that created it: kinship, politics, wars etc. Yet simultaneously, they are the owners of their land interested in value for its products. On Melanesian land, ancestral domain borders are protected, the meaning of these borders is specific, the work consists of taking care, creating, adjusting, dissolving those relations. The work of the land is reflective of this work on relations, it produces groups: men wearing a name and its associated plants become therefore the produces of the land. During the ground breaking ceremony all this will materialize, the past and future generations and the products that the land has the potential to generate, at that moment all will become tangible.

The ground breaking ceremony   3The ground breaking ceremony   2The ground breaking ceremony   4

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