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World Heritage Site Chief Roi Mata’s Domain

Chief Roi Mata’s Domain is the first site to be inscribed in Vanuatu. It consists of three early 17th century AD sites on the islands of Efate, Lelepa and Artok associated with the life and death of the last paramount chief, or Roi Mata, of what is now Central Vanuatu. The property includes Roi Mata’s residence, the site of his death and Roi Mata’s mass burial site. It is closely associated with the oral traditions surrounding the chief and the moral values he espoused. The site reflects the convergence between oral tradition and archaeology and bears witness to the persistence of Roi Mata’s social reforms and conflict resolution, still relevant to the people of the region.

Criteria for inclusion as a World Heritage Site

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iiiTo bear a unique or at least exceptional testimony to a cultural tradition or to a civilization which is living or which has disappeared. All
vTo be an outstanding example of a traditional human settlement, land-use, or sea-use which is representative of a culture (or cultures), or human interaction with the environment especially when it has become vulnerable under the impact of irreversible change. All
viTo be directly or tangibly associated with events or living traditions, with ideas, or with beliefs, with artistic and literary works of outstanding universal significance. (The Committee considers that this criterion should preferably be used in conjunction with other criteria). All
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