Thursday July 24, 2014 - 11:03 am | Login

How Ambaean is named Tasso

When Green’s National Leader and Minister of Finance Moana Carcasses went to Ambae and learned that Jean Baptist Tasso was to be his Regional Coordinator, he made it clear that under his party’s policy he cannot appoint someone from either Epi or Paama or Ambrym to become his political party coordinator in North Ambae.

Daily Post met the man called Tasso last week and heard how he was given his name.

An indigenous native near the Catholic Mission of Lolopuepue, Tasso said his mother told him that when she was pregnant with him, she had a dream. In the dream, she saw herself travel to the Manaro (which according to Ambae custom is paradise where the spirits of all the faithful live happily ever after).

On her arrival she saw thousands of people in a custom dance. As she stood there watching, an old man on a walking stick approached her and said, “Woman, I see you are pregnant and you are going to bear a son. I ask that you name after me - Tasso”.

Tasso said when he was born his parents complied with the old man’s request and named their son Tasso. That was how Jean Baptist Tasso got his name while everyone else in the family is called ‘Ara’.

“The Lands Tribunal in our area is meeting to identify the rightful custom landowners of all disputed custom lands along the coast of Lolopuepue to Tavolavola. Interestingly, there is a water hole on the shore at Tavolavola called ‘Danu mei Tasso’ or ‘Tasso’s drinking water hole”, he said with laughter.

He said the name given to the water hole goes to show that traditionally,Tasso is not a family name restricted to Paama and Epi and Ambrym. Custom names are also taken into account by land tribunals to determine which claimant has the right to any custom land in dispute.