The Ni-Vanuatu People

Vanuatu is the home to a rich Melanesian culture full of tradition, magic and ritual, where more than 100 different dialects are spoken and each tribal group has its own identity, customs and artwork.

Vanuatu's indigenous population, called Ni-Vanuatu, is comprised of many cultures, not just one. Due to the fact that Vanuatu is made up of 83 islands, over 115 different dialects are spoken. English and French are the official languages that have come from the colonial history of Vanuatu, along with Bislama, pidgin language, based on English that is understood by almost everyone, and is the common language for all Ni-Vanuatu. Although there are similarities in culture, each cultural grouping has its own features, traditions and artwork.


While most of the population is Christian, a small percentage (8%) still follow their indigenous beliefs, which are based on animism. The Christians are mainly Presbyterian, Anglican and Catholic, though newer religions are also gaining popularity.

The Ni-Vanuatu are a kind happy people for the most part, and are a lot less warrior like than the Melanesians from Papua New Guinea.

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