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By Shirley Joy

PORT VILA, Vanuatu (Vanuatu Daily Post, Nov. 9) – It was an historic moment for the people of Feneonge Village, Emae Island, now living in Port Vila, as they witnessed a ceremony of four of their head chiefs who were bestowed with customary titles to work under chief Sasamaki Mata.

The ordination was performed by the visiting Assistant Paramount Chief Sasamaki.

Noel Fainalave received the customary title of "Marongoe"; Yvong Firiam received the customary title of "Malae"; Charlie Simon received the customary title of "Marakimanu and Manuriki Peter received the title "Tarisongo."

The chiefly titles had remained vacant for some time.

Chief Sasamaki described the ceremony as exceptional as it was done outside of Emae, but explained there are valid reasons why it was performed in Port Vila.

"People may questioned why this custom ceremony is not performed on Emae, but let me inform you all that the ceremony here today makes no difference to a ceremony conducted in Emae because Efate has always been the birth place of our ancestors who originated from Worauloa point of Ifira.

"Efate is still regarded very much as our birth place, so this ceremony is considered very important because it is done in the original setting of our ancestors," said the chief.

He added that another reason why the custom ceremony was conducted in Efate is because most of his head chiefs are living and working in Port Vila.

The four head chiefs originate from the "Feneonge Titi" clan of Feneonge village and will be working directly under Chief Sasamaki Mata. Their customary titles, which were bestowed upon them, correspond also to the ownership of customary land titles and rights.

The custom ceremony was witnessed by different head chiefs of paramount chief of Feneonge village, Chief Matari Tapu including the population of Feneonge village in Port Vila.

November 11,2004

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