Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Lelepa Island - Vanuatu

The cave on this card, sent by Miguel, is Fele's Cave on Lelepa Island, where Roy Mata was poisened by his brother during a great feast in 1265. This cave is one of the places associated with Roy Mata, classified as UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 2008, on the list under the name "Chief Roi Mata’s Domain".  

Photo by PhillipC
Roy Mata was a powerful 13th century Melanesian chief from what is now Vanuatu. His elaborate grave, containing the bodies of over 25 members of his retinue, was discovered by French archaeologist Jose Garranger in 1967 and inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2008. Garranger was able to locate the grave on Retoka island by analyzing local folklore. According to legend, when Roy Mata conquered the land, his first goal was to unite the tribes. His reign is reputed to have been a peaceful one. Sadly, Roy Mata was poisoned to death by his brother, but his body was not buried on his homeland because the locals feared his spirit. To this date, the name Roy Mata is never used. - in: wikipedia

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