Published August 25, 2018
This video was recorded by Sarah Doyle in Vanuatu and features Lo-Toga speaker Kami. Kami was raised in Port Vila but is originally from the Mota/Lo islands -- today he calls Sola, Vanua Lava Island his home. As of 2007 Lo-Toga was spoken by roughly 650 people. Lo-Toga is a Remote Oceanic language of the Malayo-Polynesian group belonging to the Austronesian language family, and is spoken primarily among the Torres islands of Vanuatu. Lo and Toga (the most populated place in the Torres islands) are the two main islands in this region that gave rise to the language's name, although Lo-Toga is also spoken on the islands of Linua and Tegua. Lo-Toga exists alongside its neighboring language Hiw, which is considered endangered at 280 speakers, and Lo-Toga's two main dialects are split between its central islands, Lo and Toga. The people of the Torres islands practice subsistence agriculture and fishing, and retain many of their ancestral rituals and knowledge.