Dana is a
small, uninhabited island, situated thirty
kilometres south-west of Rai Jua. The rocky,
south side of the island is exposed to deep ocean
swells originating in the Southern Ocean, five
thousand kilometres away.
and goats are to be seen on the island.
However, the people of Savu and Rai Jua do not go
to Dana, except for the annual ritual ceremony.
According to Savunese tradition, no one is
allowed to visit Dana for any other purpose.
Savunese believe that when they die, their
spirits reside on Dana. They also believe that it
is important to respect the space of others in
order to maintain harmony in life. Since Dana is
considered to be the space for the spirits of
their loved ones who have passed away, it is
considered disrespectful for Westerners to visit
the island. However, cruise ships and surf
charters regularly visit Dana, without
consultation with the Rai Jua elders, who are
responsible for preserving the tradition.
Cook made note of the island, writing
in his diary: "At four oclock in the
afternoon, we discovered a small low island,
bearing S.S.W. distant three leagues, which has
no place in any chart now extant, at least in
none that I have been able to procure: it lies in
latitude 10° 47 S., longitude 238°
also called Nieuw Eiland and Hokki, the latter
not known to the local people.
Copyright © 2006 Ina
Tali/Francesca Von Reinhaart
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