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Medicine men in Maewo suspected of false potions

By Len Garae PORT VILA, Vanuatu (Vanuatu Daily Post, March 30, 2010) – In Vanuatu, a Paramount Chief from Maewo called Elison Reve has warned the general public not to seek custom healing from any so called medicine man from Maewo unless they are sure he is qualified to provide the right portion.

[PIR editor’s note: Vanuatu has a parliamentary democracy political system, however, the national Council of Chiefs, called the Malvatu Mauri advises the government on all matters concerning ni-Vanuatu culture and language. Chiefs still are the leading figures on village level.]

The danger is that the provider of the medicine just might deliberately give a wrong portion not to heal but harm the recipient.

In these growing hard times imposters could pose also as ‘medicine men’ and charge members of the public expensively while they provide them with ineffective potions.

Chief Elison Reve is the representative of the highest traditional peace council in Maewo called Rasaure.

Eye witnesses said the chief delivered the advice to the public at Lolowai recently when he led a delegation there to carry out a reconciliation ceremony with the chiefs and landowners of the Anglican Mission Station to cleanse their nasara over the killings of two brothers from Maewo there on March 4.

Chief Reve travelled to Lolowai the carry out the custom ceremony on behalf of Rasaure Council after the axing of death of the two brothers. Rasaure Council is the highest ranking ancient council to facilitate peace following any deliberate killings sanctioned by the Vorasuringi Council.

The two brothers were axed to death in front of shocked members of the public of sleepy Lolowai Bay in North East Ambae with alleged approval from the Vorasuringi Council.

According to the peace ceremony spokesman, Paul Ren Tari, Vorasuringi traditionally has the overall power to sanction such a killing for wrongful use of ‘nakaimas’ or black magic.

The two victims were accused of causing the deaths of two teachers of Gambule Junior Secondary School in Maewo sometime last year.

Meanwhile the Constitution is clear that no one is above the law, to take another person’s life.

Seven suspects are currently waiting to appear in court on March 31 over the killings of the two brothers.

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