Grandma Union

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Sunday, June 04, 2006

An ancient tribe patiently awaits the return of its divine leader

He is no mere mortal like themselves, dressed as they are in and straw sheaths to protect their modesty... They believe he is the human face of an ancestral spirit who left their island many moons ago to look for a bride.
Their legend tells how this spiritual ancestor ended up in England, and eventually married a queen. Which explains why the Duke of Edinburgh, who is well aware of his role as a god in the eyes of the Yaohnanen tribe, has established a curious relationship with these people, who dwell in a simple village in the centre of the Vanuatu island of Tanna in the South Pacific.

Such is the revered status the Duke holds among the 400 tribespeople that, as their chickens scratch the dirt, they speak of him with the kind of devotion Catholics reserve for the Virgin Mary.

“We are waiting for him to return to us,” says white-haired Jack Naiva, the aged tribal chief, who thinks the Prince’s 85th birthday, a week today, would be the perfect opportunity.

You can bloody have him.


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