After years of excavations and research on the Lapita people in Vanuatu, the Vanuatu Cultural Centre, in collaboration with the Australian National University, is finally in the process of setting up a permanent exhibition on artifacts and information based on years of research and analysis about our remarkable ancestors. When completed, this exhibition will be one of the largest permanent exhibitions about the Lapita people in the world. Lapita was initially discovered in Vanuatu in the 1960’s but it was only in the last decade that the most significant finds were made. Most notably, the Teouma Lapita Cemetery that was accidently discovered in 2003, is known to be the largest in terms of artifacts and other materials from the Lapita period, some 3,000 years ago. The opening of this exhibition will be on the 6th of July.
The exhibition will include a sample from over 400 different Lapita earthen vessels excavated from the Teouma site and other Lapita sites around Vanuatu, a sample of their ornaments and other artifacts from and after the Lapita period. It will be a summary of materials and analysis of major archaeological works in the country and will provided an excellent educational discourse for students and the general public.
This permanent Lapita exhibition is being setup to coincide with the 8th Lapita Conference, a gathering of experts from different disciplines researching the Lapita Culture, which will be held in Port Vila at the University of the South Pacific from the 6th to the 10th of July, 2015. This is an extremely important archaeological conference that is held every four years in various countries across the Pacific and this year over 100 delegates are expected to attend.
The Director of the Vanuatu Cultural Centre, Mr. Asal, stated that it is important for students and the public to have access to such kind of information regarding our history. He is appealing to all the schools to make use of this opportunity to discover more about our past and is appealing to the appropriate institutions to introduce cultural education into the formal education system and to make it compulsory to all students.
In addition, the Vanuatu Cultural Centre is currently organizing a Lapita Visual Art Competition with assistance from some prominent artists in Vanuatu, to reemphasize the importance and uniqueness of what our ancestors were doing 3,000 years ago. The aim is to reintroduce art derived from the Lapita period, mostly from the Lapita pots, to today’s society for the public today to use them. It is hoped that the participants can reflect on the history and stories of the Lapita Culture, including the images of the many designs on the pottery created at the time, to inspire them to create work for the Art Competition. This competition is still open to participate and any schools or individuals who would like to take part should contact the Archaeology Unit at the Vanuatu Cultural Centre to pick a Lapita Kit. The deadline for submissions for this competition is the 19th of June, 2015.
SOURCE: Vanuatu Cultural Centre