Leweton Cultural Experience


Water music was originally created in Gaua island, in the Banks Islands many years ago. It is said to have begun when an elderly woman was walking along the shore and stopped to listen to the sound of the waves hitting the reef. Thinking how nice the sound was, she went into the sea and began paying with the water to make music with the waves. The women of a nearby village heard the sound and came down to the sea to listen before joining the woman in the water and together they created water music.  

Today water music remains a speciality of the northern islands of Vanuatu and is an experience that needs to be seen – and heard – to be believed. Water music can only be performed by women and is still practiced today by women of all ages.

Leweton Cultural Village was founded by Sandy Sur and his extended family group who came to Santo from Gaua and Mere Lava islands. The family worked together to create this experience and can’t wait to share their culture and customs with you. Located just outside of Luganville, in Showground, the buildings of the cultural village have been constructed using local materials and traditional techniques – for example no nails have been used in the fares’ construction, all bracing is achieved using bush rope.

Your tour begins at the entrance to the village where you will be met by the village warriors who will escort you inside. After being treated to a traditional welcome dance, you will be led to different fares where you will get to see the process of making kava and have the chance to have a shell or two, traditional fire making methods, a traditional bush kitchen and taste some delicious Melanesian food. Enjoy the spirited men and women’s kastom dances and songs before being treated to the magical women’s water music show.

Sandy and his family hope that you will leave their village with a smile on your face and warmth in your heart after a truly unforgettable experience.


Visitor Feedback

This was by far the best experience we had on our South Pacific cruise! The whole village put on a show for us and it was a genuine experience, not overly commercial. First they perform a war dance as if you were invading their territory and then they welcome you inside their village and share with you their customs and traditions. If you see nothing else in Vanuatu then go and see this!
— Meagan, Australia (2016)