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Vanuatu Women Play Water Music in the Ocean

When you hear the words, “Water Music”, most of us think of the famous work by G.F. Handel.


But the women of Vanuatu give an entirely different, much more literal meaning to the term. Vanuatu is an island nation in the South Pacific Ocean. The closest continent is Australia, which is about 340 miles away.


One musical tradition of Vanuatu involves singing while using the ocean as a musical instrument. You read that correctly. Women gather in the water and coordinate different types of slapping and stroking in the water as a percussion accompaniment. The Wantok Musik Foundation in Australia aims to capture this incredible genre. Watch an excerpt from their film below.


This footage captures a performance off the shores of Gaua island.

On the island of Espiritu Santo, this performance was delivered in a swimming pool.

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