Dana Islands


Dana is also called Nieuw Eiland and Hokki, the latter not known to the local people. Dana is a small, uninhabited island, situated thirty kilometers Southwest of Rai Jua. The rocky, south side of the island is exposed to deep ocean swells originating in the Southern Ocean, five thousands kilometers away. Sheep and goats are to be seen on the island. However, Savu and Rai Jua people do not go to Dana, except for the annual ritual ceremony. According to Savunese tradition, no one is allowed to visit Dana for any other purpose.

Savunese believe that when they die, their spirit reside on Dana. They also believe that it is important to respect the space of others in order to maintain harmony in life. Since Dana is considered to be the space for the spirit of their love ones who passed away, it is considered disrespectful for westerners to visit the island. However, cruise ships and surf charters regularly visit Dana, without consultation with the Rai Jua elders, who are responsible for preserving the tradition.


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