Skip to main content



"Kaot Blo Gel": A Woman's Rite of Passage Celebrated by the Tanna People

I was recently invited to attend a kastom (traditional) Tanna rite of passage known as kaot blo gel, a misleading title that translates to “female circumcision” with kaot being a local Tanna language word for circumcision.

In reality, the ceremony is a rite of passage celebrating a girl's first period and doesn't involve removing or cutting any parts of the genitalia. Since a circumcision ceremony takes place in Tanna for boys (usually between 8 and 12 years old) that symbolizes their transition into manhood, this one reflects a girl’s passage to womanhood.

Latest Posts

What is Christmas in Vanuatu?

Quick Update: What's going on November 2019

Video: Soul Harvest Choir sings in three languages - Nakanamanga, Bislama, and English

Tying the Knot in Vanuatu: An inside look at a local wedding, Part 1

Workshops and Meetings and Trainings, Oh My! Part 6: Ademap FULAP Kala Recipes

What's it like in America?

Slice of Life, Midday on June 20th 2019: A Conversation On The Bus

Communication Breakdown

Workshops and Meetings and Trainings, Oh My! Part 5: An Awareness in the Village

FAQs: You're extending for a third year?