Thursday 19 January 2017

Warring tribes swap children to end dispute

Bonnie Malkin in Sydney

Published 25/08/2011 | 05:00

WARRING tribes on the tiny Pacific island of Tanna have agreed to swap two children to settle a 27-year land dispute.

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The clans, who have been arguing over property rights for over two decades, revived the ancient and controversial custom of child swapping in an attempt to end hostilities after the feud turned violent and several people were injured.

In a move designed by tribal chiefs to heal the rift, a young boy and girl will be exchanged, a practice that has not taken place on Tanna -- part of the Vanuatu chain -- for 200 years.

Seth Kaurua, from the Vanuatu Council of Chiefs, acknowledged that the practice might raise eyebrows outside the Pacific, but said it was "a normal part of our traditional life" in Vanuatu. "It is the way we make peace," he said. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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