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Vanuatu Pig Tusk



Perfectly circular Vanuatu pig tusk from a 20 to 25 years of age pig.


Length: 14.37 inch (36.5 cm)
Girth: 2.25 inch (5.7 cm)
Diameter: 4.52 inch (11.5 cm)



Pigs are a traditional symbol of wealth and status in Vanuatu. Pigs arrived in the islands with the first Melanesian settlers, and are the only mammal to populate the island simultaneously with humans. There are no indigenous large mammals. Pig ownership came to be a sign of status, wealth and power. Pig killing became an important ritual, a way of showing social standing and proclaiming political power. Elaborate boar raising strategies were developed in order to produce the highly prized circular tusks.


Vanuatu's flag has two horizontal bands (red on top, green on the bottom) and a black triangle on the edge by which it is hoisted, with the regions separated by yellow stripes. The boar's tusk and namele fern are in the black triangle. The red represents the blood of boars and men, the green the richness of the islands, the black the Ni-Vanuatu people, and the yellow the light of the Gospel (Vanuatu is about 90% Christian).


The coat of arms of Vanuatu also features a boar's tusk and two ferns, in front of which a Melanesian warrior stands, holding a spear, on top of a scroll that reads "Long God yumi stanap". This national motto translates into English as "In God we stand".



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