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Monument rock is an imposing monolithic structure. It lies some 4 kilometers from the shores of Mataso and towers 130 meters above sea level. Beneath the rock are fathomless sea, ideal grounds for Bluefin tuna, Spanish mackerel and Marlin – species frequently encountered by Mataso fishermen.
Aside from Monument rock being a natural fishing ground for people of Mataso, its other food source belongs to the migratory Mataso pigeon.
Each spring these sea birds come to inhabit the holes of the monolithic structure. Although Monument is rugged in appearance, it was used for target practice by US naval vessel and aircraft during WWII. For this reason it is peppered with holes, evidence of immense anti-aircraft machine gunfire. The holes left by these exercises over time have contributed to making perfect nesting holes for these migratory birds.
Each year men and boys row out to monument in hand carved outriggers. The birds are beaten birds from the sky with bamboo sticks. In this image Herveline depicts the love and devotion the people of Mataso have for this large aquatic bird and in earlier days, an all important food source.
|Dimensions||60 × 9 × 9 cm|
Duck Print Limited Editions Wollongong, NSW
Mataso Island, Vanuatu, March 2007