Motu Calendar

via Papua New Guinea


Motu Calendar,

Southern Region


The Motu Koita year consisted of thirteen "months" that would be identified by the weather and therefore directed the activities of the village. The western name for these "months" is only an approximation.

Veadi - June / July

Men secretly began making big fishing nets called MATAGARA with meshes 20 - 30 cms in diameter. People began to clear land for new gardens.

Veadi Haro - July

Special ceremonies held before the nets were taken to the canoe. Good fishing weather. Planting of new crops begins.

Uria - September

Hiri Latta expeditions set sail for the Gulf of Papua. Women tending the gardens. Young girls being tattooed. - (Motuan Tattoos)

Laga - October

The hunting month when wallabies caught in nets laid across the land after fires and beaters stirred them from their slumber.

Days very hot and flies and ants everywhere. Yams planted. Tattooing continues. Vili traders arrive from Hula.

Manumaura - November

First rains of the Lahara (wet season). last of the small Lagatois leave for the Mekeo area.

Biria Bada - January

Hot winds constantly changing direction from the land (Mirigini) to the seas (Atudiho)

Fastest Lagatois return from the Hiri. Many wrecked by the treacherous Atudiho.

Hula people sail home.

Guiraura - February

Month of big storms that blew down trees and houses. Much rain. More Lagatois return.

Goha - March

Time when darkness "passed away" and Lahara (North west) winds finished. Time of bright moons.

Lailai - April

Laurabada winds from the south east start to blow. First Laurabada brings Bona Dika (bad smell). gardens look as though they will die. Second Laurabada brings Bona Namo (good smell) makes plants grow again.

Men who plan to hold a feast or go on a Hiri look at their gardens and decide if there will be enough food to support the rituals.

Rehersals for dancing begin.

Darodaro - May

Strong winds blow dead leaves from the garden so that harvesting of yams can begin.

The dancing season starts.

Divaro - June

Harvesting of Yams continues. Dancing season continues.

Thanks to Daera Simoi and Wendy Henao for help with this.
Motuan Traditional Tattoos

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Created 15 Sep, 2003
Updated 16 Feb, 2011

© 2003 - Trevor Michie