There is a tribe on the southern island of Tanna in Vanuatu that has caught my eye . . . particularly for whom they worship as a God.
The Prince Philip Movement is a religious sect followed by the Yaohnanen tribe. The tribe believes that the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip, is a divine being. They display portraits of the Duke and hold feasts on his birthday.
The Yaohnanen people believe he is originally from their island and is the son of an ancient spirit of a local volcano. The legend states that a white man emerged from the volcano and traveled abroad to marry a powerful Queen. The Yasur volcano is still active to this day and discharges ash and fire daily.
In 1974 Her Majesty, along with her husband, briefly stopped in what was then called New Hebrides during their voyage abroad the Royal Yacht Britannia. Local men (including the chief (Chief Jack) of the Yaohnanen tribe) rowed out to meet them. And it appears that was when the connection with Prince Philip was made.
Chief Siko has been quoted stating: "He is a God and when we talk about him and believe in him, it gives us life. We are sure that one day he will come back, and when he does we will organize a toka dance for him." (Chief Siko is the grandson of the late Chief Jack).
Their village has many photographs of the Duke, most strewn across a clothesline-type display area in the village. There is also a particular photograph of the Duke displayed in the village’s shrine. Apparently, there were doubters amongst the tribe, 30 some years ago. So Chief Jack arranged for a traditional club to be sent to Buckingham Palace as a gift. Prince Philip responded to this gift by posing with the club for a photograph. He then signed the photograph and it was sent to the tribe. Since receiving this photograph, it has been the centerpiece for the shrine in the village.
What fascinates me most about this tribe is how happy and blessed this group looks and feels. They live in an entirely different World then what most of us know and/or care about. This group of men, women and children spend their days worshiping Prince Philip, smiling and having so much fun___loving life. These people are poor (so to speak); none of them can read or write … they live in a village in amongst nature. We could all learn a lesson from this tribe about beliefs, worship, community and true happiness.
Here is a two-minute video from YouTube that shows the tribe celebrating Prince Philip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gws046zcrVQ
May 2012 bring you a World of true happiness . . .