Special Exhibition at the state Museum of Ethnology Munich

"UrSprung in der Südsee"
An Encounter with the Pentecost Landdivers

From 20th of June until 13th of September 2009



















the Exhibition:

Step by step, the visitors approach a world that is completely foreign to them. They set out on a virtual journey to the other side of the globe, from Munich to the Sa in the Kastom-village Bunlap on the island of Pentecost in Vanuatu. Simultaneously, five men from Bunlap set out on a real journey from Vanuatu to Germany, where they participate as partners in the exhibition. The Sa have 'invented' the precursor to Bungee-jumping many years ago. By means of the construction of a model of a jumping-tower, a traditional Naghol, in front of the museum, the exhibition is expanded into the public sphere and a platform for encounters between visitors and guests is created. The pathway through the rooms of the museum leads the visitor from the periphery alongside Juban-masks and a living house into the centre of the village, the dancing ground. The objects and installations allow a peek into the cosmos of the Kastom Sa. They seem to belong to another, bygone time. They wear penis-wrappers and grassskirts and disapprove of churches and schools. While having first-hand knowledge of the ‘outside world’ they have consciously decided against it and still live mainly according to the rules of their ancestors. During the last 50 years, the Kastom Sa have defended their culture against influences from outside. This might surprise in view of the growing pressure of globalisation and it contradicts our paradigms of progress and growth. However, Kastom does not mean stagnation but rather a permanent creative and cautious development of an independent vision of society.

The exhibition exemplifies that we live in a world of the ‘simultaneity of the non-simultaneous’, where unexpected and astonishing individual cultural developments are possible and a permanent reconsideration of the own position is necessary.

Ol visita i stap kam kam long wan world we hem i no save nating. Hem i stap kam, raonem world i stap, kam aot long Mjunik i kam kasem vilej blong Sa long aeland blong Pentekos, long Vanuatu. Long sem taem faef man blong Sa i stap kam, lusim Vanuatu, i kam long Germany, we oli kam joinem olsem pata blong exhibition ia. Olgeta Sa i papa long „bungyjumping“. Ol man bae i wokem Naghol, olsem taoa blong jam, long aotsaed long museum, mekem exhibition i stap kam aotsaed long nasara we olgeta visitas i save luk mo stori wetem ol man Sa. Rod we i go tru long ol rum insaed long museum i folem fasin olsem ol man i stap kam long vilej. Statem long aotsaed, saedem ol Juban mo haos blong slip, i kam tru long nasara. Olgeta samting we i stap i some aot laef mo tingting blong olgeta Sa we i stap folem kastom. Oli stap werem ol nambas mo ol gras skirt, mo oli no skul mo stap go long jos.

Oli save gud long kastom blong waet man be oli jusum blong folem fasin blong laef blong ol bubu blong olgeta bifo. Long las 50 yea ol Sa i bin wok blong holem taet kastom blong olgeta. Maet samfala i sapraes long hem from samting blong olgeta waet man i strong mo blong stap olsem maet hemi agensem tingting blong developmen. Be kastom i no minim se evrisamting i no save jenis. Yu mas lukluk gud, skelim gud, afta yu save faenem rod we i stret gud long yu mo olgeta man.

Exhibition ia i soem se yumi stap long wan worl we yumi stap ‘long sem taem be i no long sem taem’, maet yu sapraes tumas long samfala kastom we oli difren tumas, mo oli save mekem yu tingbaot long fasin blong laef blong yu.



Thorolf Lipp, Martina Kleinert, Michaela Appel


Room 1: Introducing our partners from Bunlap


Room 2: Im/ Hut and Telefon/ Telephone


Room 2: Naghol/ Landdiving and Juban/ Masks


Room 3: Sara / Ceremonial Ground


Room 1: Kastom



Programme of Events:

The complete programme of guided tours and events
in connection to the exhibition is available here as PDF download.



THursday, September 10th 2009,
From 5 PM



"Raga" from Jean Marie Gustave Le Clézio

On the exhibition and the visit of our guests in Germany - personal reports and pictures

Pacific-style food from the earthoven and Kava


On the Venue:

The Staatliches Museum für Völkerkunde München was founded in 1868. The first collectors of artefacts and objects from outside Europe, which are today part of the museum's collections, were members of the Wittelsbacher family, the royal dynasty of Bavaria. In 1830, for example, King Ludwig I bought a large collection of ethnographical objects from India and Oceania.

Today the museum is the second largest in Germany, surpassed by Berlin only, with a collection of 200,000 objects and an exhibition area of 4,500 square meters.


Staatliches Museum für Völkerkunde München
Maximilianstraße 42
80538 München

Di - So 9:30- 17:30

Public Transport
Underground: U4 and U5 to Lehel
City Train (S-Bahn) to Isartor
Tram 17 and 19 to Maxmonument

Phone:+49-(0)89- 2101 36 100
Fax:+49-(0)89- 2101 36 247
Gitte Gesner, Thomas Kulik, Jacob Kapere, Tolak Moltavil, Mathias Wataskon, Betu Watas, Thorolf Lipp, Martina Kleinert (from left to right)