Last month we learned from Chief Linlin Jack Naiua of Yaohnanen village on Tanna island in the South Pacific country of Vanuatu, that Prince Philip of Britain is really from Tanna, not Greece, and that he paddled in a canoe from Vanuatu to Britain to marry Princess Elizabeth.
We also learned that Philip is worshipped as a God by the 1669 adults and numerous children in Yaohnanen and the surrounding area. This month we will focus on Prince Philip’s powers, his visit to Vanuatu, and his future and afterlife, according to the Chief.
Prince Philip’s mystical powers are so strong that his worshippers in Tanna hardly ever get sick, and never go to hospital. If there is a problem, a prayer to the Prince fixes it. Philip tells his followers to live a good, clean life, follow “kastom” (customary tribal) practices, and be peaceful. Philip is like Jesus, and the two are really one person. It is through Philip that his followers get their life.
In 1974, Prince Phillip and Elizabeth II visited Vanuatu in the royal yacht Britannia. According to the Chief, the yacht did not touch at Tanna, but the searchlight of the yacht was turned onto the island at night as the vessel passed. Philip recognized Tanna and turned to Elizabeth and said, “There is something I have to tell you. That is my island, where I was born.” Elizabeth replied, “If I had known that, I never would have married you.” Philip retorted, “Too bad, it’s too late. Charles is already a grown man.”
In 2007 several elders from a neighboring Prince Philip village visited England, and according to various news agencies managed to meet the Prince at Windsor Castle and exchange greetings and gifts. But Chief Naiua states that, “Those people did not meet Philip. He is waiting for Yaohnanen villagers to arrive before he meets with anyone from Tanna.”
The SBS Australian TV network contacted Buckingham Palace in 2010 and asked Prince Philip about his attitude toward the villagers, and the Palace response was that, “The Duke of Edinburgh is aware of the villagers’ feelings, which probably arose from his original visit many years ago. The exchange of photographs was a gesture of goodwill, nothing more. The Prince has no plans to visit Tanna.”
As we will see in just a second, the Palace may be wrong on that last point.
Chief Naiua stated that he can see into the future, and also gets information in letters from England and visions from a tree-cave inside the village’s sacred banyan tree. He predicted that when Philip dies, the next King of England will not be Prince Charles, but rather Prince William.
Upon Philip’s death, the Chief predicts that the Prince will return to Tanna by canoe, and Philip will re-emerge as a young, healthy, Melanesian man. All the people and animals, and even the insects and dead people will know of his arrival. His Church will grow enormously.
Philip’s followers will have a massive feast and a “Koeyar,” a huge dance that goes on for three days. Two hundred pigs will be killed in an elaborate ceremony, using sacred clubs and ordinary hatchets. Queen Elizabeth, if she is still alive, will have to stay in Britain, but Philip may choose to visit her there from time to time. The new, young Philip will marry a Tannese girl, who is already picked out and is waiting for him now. He will not be able to marry multiple local ladies, however. A special house will be built for the Prince and his new bride.
According to Chief Naiua, speaking in the island pidgin of Bislama, the newly rejuvenated Prince and God will have lots of new children. The Chief’s exact words were: “Prince hemi full-up pickaninny!”
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Lew Toulmin is working in the Prime Minister’ Office in Vanuatu, on projects in telecommunications and e-government. He is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and a member of The Explorers Club. He and his wife Susan normally live in Silver Spring.
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Words in story and bio: 675
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Pics: all credits to Lew Toulmin:
$1A. When Prince Philip moves to Tanna island after his death, he will live in a specially built house similar to this. Over 200 pigs will be sacrificed in his honor.
$1B. A woman of Yaohnanen village seems to want to distance herself from Prince Philip.
$1C. A grave in the village shows the deceased elder chief and his followers holding photos of Prince Philip, whom they worship as a God. (Photo credit: Sheldon Mann)
$1D. Chief Linlin Jack Naiua and his brother stand just outside the tree cave at the base of the village’s sacred ficus/banyan tree. In the cave they receive visions about their god Prince Philip.
$1E. Author Lew Toulmin, right, with Chief Linlin Jack Naiua (center) and the Chief’s brother, holding sacred relics of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.
$1F. A youth of Yaohnanen village on Tanna island looks a bit annoyed that Prince Philip has not yet arrived for a visit to Tanna, despite numerous invitations.
$1G. Chief Linlin Jack Naiua examines the photo of his god, Prince Philip, and wonders when Philip will return to Vanuatu and his native island of Tanna.