Rah and Mota Lava (Vanuatu) - Mitchell Kanashkevich

VANUATU: RAH AND MOTA LAVA ISLANDS


Rah and Mota Lava are two small, remote islands that belong to the Banks Islands group of the South Pacific nation of Vanuatu. Their isolation from the rest of the world and the pristine, resource-abundant surrounding natural environment have led to the emergence of a unique culture and lifestyle.

The islanders rely primarily on subsistence living. Gardens, forests and the sea are the main sources of food. In order to eat, one has to be a skillful gardener, hunter or fisherman, the skills are picked up from a young age, through children watching and helping their parents.

Despite its remoteness and tiny size, Rah Island is famed for its exuberant snake-dance, inspired by the black and white colored sea-snakes, which reside under large rocks off of the island's shore. The performers travel as far as Port Vila, the capital of Vanuatu to demonstrate the dance at various cultural festivals.


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