The sand drawings of Paama island – Vanuatu (Pacific ocean)
These drawings are complex geometric figures traced with the finger, without lifting it from the beginning to the end point. They can represent a sea animal, a choregraphic patterns or a closed abstact figure.
The impact of their ephemeral beauty emerges during the simultaneity of the movement producing the image. Vanished by the sea which covers them, they epitomise the evanescence, the impermanence of everything.
The role of these drawings is not only recreational. They may have a mnemonic function of preservation of myths, to transmit rituals, cosmological knowledge. They are a mine of information about local life. According to the drawer, they even consent to get a contact with a dead relative.
These kind of drawings are still created today and the are registered, since 2008 by UNESCO, in the list of intangible heritage of Humanity.
Source:
Craig Lind – The beauty of sand-drawing in Vanuatu
Arthur Bernard Deacon – Malekula a vanishing people in the New Hebrides

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