Also known as: Sa

Pentecost is an island in the north of Vanuatu. The people of the southern quarter of the island speak the Sa language, and form a cultural unit. Although most Sa-speakers are now Christian, a substantial number have retained their indigenous religion. The village of Bunlap is famous for 'land diving' a ritual connected with the yam harvest in which men jump from a high tower, to which their feet are tied by strong vines.

Show Map of Location

Traditional Culture(1875-1900)Expand All +
Belief +

Supernatural Beings

Nature Spirits Present, but not a major focus of supernatural practice (Source)
Lane (1965), pp. 250-279, 264
Nature god(s) Absent (Source)
Lane (1965), pp. 250-279, 275
Ancestral spirits Present, and a major focus of supernatural practice (Source)
Lane (1965), pp. 250-279, 269-270
Deified ancestor(s) Absent (Source)
Lane (1965), pp. 250-279, 265-266
God(s) Absent (Source)
Lane (1965), pp. 250-279

Supernatural Punishment

Supernatural punishment for impiety Present (Source)
Lane (1965), pp. 250-279; 264

Afterlife and Creation

One's actions while living can affect the nature of one's afterlife Absent (Source)
Lane (1965), pp. 263
The actions of others after one has died can affect the nature of one's afterlife Absent (Source)
Lane (1965), pp. 269-270
Myth of humanity’s creation Present, and evolutionary (Source)
Lane (1965), pp. 265
Primordial pair Absent (Source)
Lane (1965), pp. 263, 265
Culture hero(es) Present, but not a major focus of supernatural practice (Source)
Lane (1965), pp. 250-279, 265-266

General Features

Forces of nature are controlled by or imbued with the supernatural Present (Source)
Lane (1965), pp. 275

Classes of Tapu

Social hierarchy tapu Present (Source)
Lane (1965), pp. 258

Mana

Mana as a personal quality Absent (Source)
Lane (1965), pp. 257
Mana related to social influence or technical skill Absent (Source)
Mana as a spiritual or religious concept Absent (Source)
Lane (1965), pp. 257
Practice +

General Supernatural Practices

Headhunting Absent (Source)
Lane (1965), pp. 250-279
Costly sacrifices and offerings Absent (Source)
Lane (1965), pp. 250-279
Size of largest ritual social group Larger than a household, no larger than the local community (Source)
Lane (1965), pp. 250-279, 268-269
Political and religious differentiation Some overlap (Source)
Lane (1965), pp. 275-276

Rites

Piercing Present in culture, but not as a rite or feature of a rite (Source)
Mescam (1989), pp. 29, 46-57
Lane (1965), pp. 250-279
Genital cutting Present in culture, but not a rite or feature of a rite (Source)
Lane (1965), pp. 274
Scarification Absent from culture (Source)
Mescam (1989), pp. 28-31
Tattooing Present in culture, but not as a rite or feature of a rite (Source)
Mescam (1989), pp. 29, 46-57
Lane (1965), pp. 250-279
Tooth pulling Absent from culture (Source)
Mescam (1989), pp. 29-31, 46-57
Social Environment +
Population of largest political community 100-999 (Source)
Lane (1965), pp. 268, 273
Importance of Patrilateral descent High (Source)
Jolly (1991), pp. 263
Importance of Matrilateral descent Medium (Source)
Jolly (1991), pp. 263
Kinship system Crow (Source)
Jolly (1991), pp. 263
Marital residence Patrilocal or virilocal - with husband's kin (Source)
Jolly (1991), pp. 263

Conflict

Conflict with other cultures Rare or never (Source)
Jolly (1991), pp. 263
Conflict within communities Moderate (Source)
Lane (1965), pp. 272
Jolly (1991), pp. 263
Conflict between communities of the culture Frequent, occurring at least yearly (Source)
Jolly (1991), pp. 263
Lane (1965), pp. 268
Cultural Isolation +
Contact with other cultures Frequent, through trade, warfare, travel, etc. (Source)
Jolly (1991), pp. 262
Distance to closest landmass inhabited by a different culture (km) 0.0 (Source)
Lane (1965), pp. 250
Distance to African or Asian mainland (km) 7017.0 (Source)
Ethnologue (Map of Vanuatu) (2014), pp. 250
Daft Logic Area Calculator (2014)
Pre-Austronesian population Absent: No evidence of human occupation prior to Austronesian settlement (Source)
Bellwood (1995), pp. 109
Hindu / Buddhist influence on supernatural belief No evidence of influence and not in region of known contact (Source)
Cribb (2000), pp. Map 2.21
Islamic influence on supernatural belief No evidence of influence and not in region of known contact (Source)
Cribb (2000), pp. Map 2.23
Christian influence on supernatural belief No evidence of influence but in a region where contact is likely (Source)
Lane (1965), pp. 250
Subsistence and Economy +

Land-based means of subsistence

Animal husbandry as a source of food Minor (Source)
Jolly (1991), pp. 262
Agriculture / Horticulture Major (Source)
Lane (1965), pp. 250
Jolly (1991), pp. 262
Land-based hunting performed by individuals Medium (Source)
Jolly (1991), pp. 262
Land-based gathering Major (Source)
Lane (1965), pp. 250
Jolly (1991), pp. 262
Land-based hunting performed by one or more groups Minor (Source)
Jolly (1991), pp. 262

Water-based means of subsistence

Fishing and water-based hunting performed by one or more groups Minor (Source)
Lane (1965), pp. 250
Jolly (1991), pp. 262
Water-based gathering Medium (Source)
Lane (1965), pp. 250
Jolly (1991), pp. 262
Fishing and water-based hunting performed by individuals Medium (Source)
Lane (1965), pp. 250
Jolly (1991), pp. 262

Commercial Activity

Trade / wage labour as a source of food Medium (Source)
Jolly (1991), pp. 262
Physical Environment +

Geographical Range of Culture

Number of islands inhabited by culture One (Source)
Lane (1965), pp. 250

Features of Island with Largest Culture Population

Latitude -15.9 (Source)
Lane (1965), pp. 250
Google Maps (2014)
Longitude 168.2 (Source)
Lane (1965), pp. 250
Google Maps (2014)
Island type (island with largest culture population or largest island if unknown) Volcanic high island (Source)
Encyclopaedia Britannica (Pentecost) (2014)
Island Size (km²) 438.0 (Source)
Encyclopaedia Britannica (Pentecost) (2014)
Maximum elevation (meters) 946.0 (Source)
Encyclopaedia Britannica (Pentecost) (2014)
Post Contact History(1900-2014)Expand All +
Religious History +

Conversion

Use of force in conversion Low (Source)
Jolly (1982), pp. 344-347
Resident missionary involvement in conversion process Present, and from non-Austronesian societies (Source)
Jolly (1982), pp. 344, 345
Adoption of a world religion Present and predominant (Source)
Jolly (2003), pp. 190

Syncretic Movements

Syncretic religious movements Absent (Source)
Jolly (1982), pp. 344-347
Lane (1965), pp. 278
Secular History +

Demographic and Social Changes

Foreign government systems Present, but of low importance (Source)
Jolly (1982), pp. 341-344
Jolly (1991), pp. 263
Language shift Medium (Source)
Jolly (2003), pp. 190
Foreign education systems High (Source)
Jolly (1982), pp. 346
Jolly (1982), pp. 190

Economic Changes

Changes in means of subsistence Medium (Source)
Jolly (2003), pp. 190
Jolly (1991), pp. 262
Exportation of goods to other cultures Present and substantial (Source)
Jolly (1991), pp. 262

Modern Infrastructure

Air travel Present, local only (Source)
Lonely Planet (2014)
Sea port Absent (Source)
National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (2009), pp. 180

Loss of Autonomy

Loss of political autonoomy Medium (Source)
Jolly (1982), pp. 341-344
Current Culture(2014)Expand All +
Belief +

Religious Demographics

Dominant world religion Christianity (Source)
Jolly (2003), pp. 190
External Links
References
Bellwood, P. (1995). Austronesian Prehistory in Southeast Asia: Homeland, Expansion and Transformation. P. Bellwood, J.J. Fox, & D. Tryon (Eds.), The Austronesians: Historical and Comparative Perspectives (pp 113-114). Canberra, Australia: ANU Press.

Churchill, W. (1916). Sissano: Movements of Migration Within and Through Melanesia. Washington, D.C.: The Carnegie Institute of Washington.

Cribb, R. (2000). Historical atlas of Indonesia. Surrey, UK: Curzon Press.

Daft Logic Area Calculator. (2014). Retrieved from: http://www.daftlogic.com/projects-google-maps-area-calculator-tool.htm.

Encyclopaedia Britannica (Pentecost). (2014). In Encyclopaedia Britannica. Retrieved from http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/450428/Pentecost

Encyclopaedia Britannica (Vanuatu). (2014). In Encyclopaedia Britannica. Retrieved from http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/623102/Vanuatu

Ethnologue (Map of Vanuatu). (2014). Map of Vanuatu. Retrieved from http://www.ethnologue.com/map/VU__

Google Maps (2014). Retrieved from maps.google.com

Jolly, M. (1982), Birds and Kastom Banyans of South Pentecost: Kastom in AntiColonial Struggle. Mankind, 13: 338–356. DOI: 10.1111/j.1835-9310.1982.tb00999.x

Jolly, M. (1991). "Pentecost". In T.E. Hays, Encyclopedia of World Cultures (Volume 2 - Oceania) (pp 261-264). New York, NY: G. K Hall and Co.

Jolly, M. (2003). Spouses and Siblings in Sa Stories. The Australian Journal of Anthropology, 14 (2), 188-208. DOI: 10.1111/j.1835-9310.2003.tb00230.x.

Lane, R.B. (1965). The Melanesians of South Pentecost, New Hebrides. In Lawrence, P. & Meggitt, M.J., Gods, Ghosts and Men in Melanesia: Some Religions of Australian New Guinea and the New Hebrides. Melbourne, Australia: Oxford University Press.

Lonely Planet. (2014). Pentecost: Getting there & around. http://www.lonelyplanet.com/vanuatu/pentecost/transport/getting-there-around.

Mescam, G. (1989). Pentecost: An Island in Vanuatu. Suva, Fiji: Oceania Printers Ltd.

National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (2009). World Port Index Nineteenth Edition. Bethesda, MD: National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency