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Title finally found its way home

PORT VILA, Vanuatu (Vanuatu Daily Post, Oct. 21, 2008) - The name "Masai" has been bestowed to its rightful owner in a moving ceremony that brought together 13 tribes of Mele on Friday in Vanuatu.

Chief Malakawamata, commonly known as Kalokai Masai of Mele, is now known as Chief Malakawamata of Malasilolo nakamal.

It is understood that the name "Masai" was lost in the chiefly hierarchy for almost a whole century.

"The name Masai has finally found its way home. Kaltavai and Kaltapres initially lived at Malvutna. Over the years, their descendents left to work in New Caledonia. While he was away the missi (missionaries) who first came displaced him in the hierarchy system. But now he has found his way home," explained Pastor Terry of Mele village.

During the ceremony, his spokesman, Naruru Taravaki, released the names of Chief Malakawamata’s representative who will carry various responsibilities under his leadership as Chief of the 13 tribes. The 13 tribes are part of the 11 nakamals of Mele.

Daily Post was told that the significance of the ceremony was recognition of the new Chief by other clan councils and also the appointment of his spokesperson, messenger, warrior and "tabu man" who apparently were being included from representatives of the 13 tribes.

Their representatives belonged to families such as Pailo, Chilia, Vatoko, Saropera, Soromon, Taravaki, Tavara, Natakora, Kalowowota, Tairangorango and Singia all common names in the Mele community.

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