Step Folem Step
Joan Niras is a song-writer, singer and musician originally from Tanna and living in Port Vila. She is best known for her work with her band Paran Latan and also makes music under the name Jana Cee.
In the Nu Yam Fellowship she researched the kastom calendar of the village of Lowekao, on the eastern side of Tanna. Learning about the signs of two elite varieties of yam, known as Nara Vanuar and Nussua, Joan wrote a song in the Kasura Miné language of White Sands on Tanna, about the kastom calendar. She noted that “Chief Representative of Lowekao vilej, Mr Liben, is happy to share his kastom knowledge in this era of climate change as we are being affected and kastom knowledge is being lost.” Joan wrote another song about climate change in the Nare language from south west Tanna.
Joan collaborated with artist Denny Kaio to illustrate the seasons and signs of the yams and the work done in the garden to care for them across the year. Denny Kaio is a painter and illustrator from Tanna who works in a range of mediums, including drawing and painting with oils, water colours and acrylics.