Mota Lava Island -11/6/2011

Written by Josh

Information on Mota Lava

Mota Lava was originally called ‘Saddle Island,’ as the island looked like a saddle from aboard a boat.  Today the island is known as Mota Lava, but residents call it Mwotlap, which is also the name of the official language on the island. It was in 1606, when Mota Lava was first spotted by Europeans, when Pedro Fernandez de Quiros was exploring Vanuatu.  Pedro charted the island as ‘Lágrimas de San Pedro’, meaning St Peter’s Tears in Spanish.

Our Visit

We visited Lahlap on Mota Lava, our second village of the day.  We were greeted by a string band singing, ‘Welcome to Mota lava.’ Dad could not get it out of his head for three months and sang it nearly every day.


Next they performed a local dance for the first time in 30 years.


As it was time to go the women sung a song and gave us woven hats.  They kept singing until we could not see them any more.

We were given hand woven hats decorated with leaves and flowers.

The local ladies saying goodbye to us.

The ladies had beautiful singing voices and wore brightly coloured floral dresses.

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