Welcome! My name is Thomas Dick and I am using this page to present the research that I have been working on over the last few years with the people of the Leweton Cultural Experience and in particular their representative, Sandy Sur, my brother and friend.

Thomas Dick

Thomas Dick

Having lived in Vanuatu for almost a decade, it has been a great privilege for me to be able to dedicate my time and energy towards a doctoral dissertation with the friends and family that I have made. My PhD (incorporating publications) examines kastom, tourism, and art in the Pacific, and focuses on the case of the Leweton Cultural Experience and “water music”. The creative centrepiece of my PhD is the documentary film titled “Vanuatu Women’s Water Music”. I worked with Sandy Sur and other members of the Leweton community (and friends from Further Arts, Wantok Musik) to create the beautiful 32-page e-book to accompany the DVD. It features the history of the development of the water music, as narrated to me by the Leweton community. You can view the e-book by clicking the button here:

 

 

If you don’t know much about the Leweton Cultural Experience, this little introduction from Sandy is a nice place to start:

Sandy Sur

Sandy Sur

“Leweton is a community owned and operated business on the Island of Santo, Vanuatu. Leweton is a cultural experience that is made up of related families from six villages from the islands of Merelava and Gaua. Since 2008 we have been sharing our cultural experience with visitors from all around the world. We invite guests into our village lifestyle where they can experience our traditional way of life. Our village is home to the unique and amazing magical water music, an amazing display of percussion where water is the instrument. Vanuatu is made out of 83 Islands altogether. It’s divided into 6 provinces. Leweton comes from the Northern Province called Torba. The cultural experience Leweton shares comes from the Torba Province. The main language spoken between the 83 Islands is Bislama. However, there are another 106 languages spoken between the Islands. All of the Islands have their own cultures and lifestyles. The language we speak in our village is called Mwerlap. If you want to come and visit us we would love to have you stay – check out our profile on the Community Homestay network