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nambas-cannibalOn the remote north side of the island of Malekula in Vanuatu, there lives a cannibal tribe called the Big Nambas. The men wear a penis gourd wrapped in pandamus fibers, and eat “man long pig,” cooked human enemies. You have to trek over mountains of thick jungle to reach them. When I was able to years ago, there were a few men who continued the practice. This gentleman is one of them. I was in no danger as they were very kind and gracious to me.

That wasn’t the case a century ago when the first explorers, Martin & Osa Johnson, reached them. Their 1918 film, “Cannibals of the South Seas,” made the Johnsons famous, and you can see it on YouTube. Today they are far more benign. It is an extraordinary experience to meet a culture of fearsome reputation and realize they are people like you and me. (Glimpses of Our Breathtaking World #103 photo ©Jack Wheeler)