21st Annual Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest Travel
Moment of faith

This is an image of the Nanggol, a ritual performed by the men of Pentacost Island in Vanuatu. Men jump off towers of around 20-30 metres in height with two vines wrapped around their legs. The precursor to bungee jumping. According to legend, a woman ran away from her husband, climbing a banyan tree to escape. Her husband followed, so she tied two vines around her legs and jumped from the tree. Her husband followed but without tying the vines and fell to his death. Women used to perform the ceremonial jumps from trees to honour the original woman, however the men took the ceremony for themselves so they could not be tricked again, moving it from trees to purpose built towers.

Photo Detail
Date Taken: 06.2023
Date Uploaded: 11.2023
Photo Location: Vanuatu
Camera: ILCE-7M4
Copyright: © Siobhan Lavery