Swapping Children to End Tribal War in Vanuatu

Tribal chiefs in the remote Pacific island of Vanuatu has taken a drastic step based on a tradition that has not been invoked in 200 years: a children swap to end a long-running tribal war.

Seth Kaurua, from the Vanuatu Council of Chiefs, said the feud between the two tribes had been going on for 27 years, but the chiefs had to step in when it turned violent and several people were injured. "The practice on Tanna for resolving a dispute, whenever it turns to violence, is that we have to use our traditional way.

"One tribe gives away a child, female or male, to the other tribe and the other tribe has to do the same." The aim of the exchange was to "build a bridge between the two tribes and make the relationship stronger."

Mr Kaurua acknowledged that the practice may raise eyebrows outside the Pacific, but said it was "a normal part of our traditional life" in Vanuatu.

Do you agree with the ethics of swapping children (even if it's for the greater good of the tribes?) Link


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Not everything is acceptable "for the greater good of the tribe".

For example one might sacrifice a virgin for the greater good of the tribe.

The question is: how much will the children suffer. Their society is not comparable to ours and I suspect they raise children slightly different than we do.

The safest bet is to say "No; I don't agree." But who knows, maybe the children are perfectly happy with it.

Kirk Huffman, an anthropologist who has studied the clans of Vanuatu: "The children involved often benefited from the arrangement because they could remain in contact with their family, while gaining a new extended family."
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Tt was actually a common practice in midieval Europe to send at least one child to another family to raise. It was a way of deterring conflict or agression between landed families.
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It worked for a while for Darkseid and the Allfather... If the shaman couple of that tribe sends a baby in a kanoo out to the world to make it the sole survivor from impending doom from a nearby vulkano, it's getting eerie.
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