Big nambas chief and missionary, early 20th century, Malekula, Vanuatu
Tenmaru beach, Malekula, Vanuatu
Abetaruvar Bungalow, Malekula, Vanuatu
Inside Abetaruvar Bungalow, Malekula, Vanuatu
Cave art, Tenmaru, Malekula
Abetaruvar Bungalow, Tenmaru, Malekula Vanuatu Aelan Walkabot rating
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Abetaruvar Bungalow is owned by Chief John Peter Arnamhabat. He's about 80 years old with many historical tales about the Big Nambas, missionaries, World War Two and independence.

In the cool, humid interior forests there are three major natsaros with lines of hundreds of stones commemorating grade-taking ceremonies in the past and other important relicts of the Big Nambas culture. One carved stone was removed in the first half of the 20th century and now resides in a museum in France.

Near Tenmaru, the Apiyalo cave has some interesting artwork: hand stencils and engravings from many years ago.

Don't expect to see too much kastom in Tenmaru today. The church has effectively stamped out pig killing, kava, native dress, kastom dancing and tam-tams in much of northwest Malekula. These once fierce and hostile people have been subdued and much of the kastom knowledge will die out with the older generation. On the other hand, they have a miraculous story about the coming of the church.

There were plans, in 2005, to build a tourist bungalow at Benanalvet village just north of Tenmaru. This village is Presbyterian and more liberal.

Costs and Booking
Accommodation at Tenmaru costs 1500 Vatu per person, per night. Meals are 300 Vatu each. Some of the tour prices are 1000 Vatu to the cave, 2000 Vatu to the natsaros above Tenmaru and 500 Vatu to the grave of the missionary Norman Wiles. All expenses are to be paid in Vatu cash. Exchange Rates.

Accommodation and Food
John Peter's bungalow is built of local materials and has four single rooms. Bring your own mosquito net. The main door is lockable (bring your own small padlock). Hurricane lamps are used for lighting.

Food at Abetaruvar is simple aelan kaekae or rice dishes. The village water supply is sourced from a clean stream in the hills and is OK to drink. Bring your own tea or coffee.

Bathing is in the river near the bungalow. Bring your own bath towel, soap and toilet paper. The toilet is a simple dry-pit squat design.

Services, Suggestions and Transport
Tenmaru has no telephone, no medical clinic and no real stores.

Ask the drivers in Lakatoro to find a truck for north Malekula and Tenmaru.

If you're coming from Wiawi, it's a relatively straight-forward three and a half hour walk to Tenmaru. There's a spring at Vakas village, near the road, where you can get clean drinking water.

First surveyed: December 2004 by Stephen.
Last updated: May 2009 by Stephen.

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