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A DISCOVERY CRUISE TO THE REMOTE LAU ISLANDS OF FIJI—- PHOTOS, VIDEOS AND POEMS

April 7, 2017

A DISCOVERY CRUISE TO THE LAU ISLANDS OF FIJI

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NADI, FIJI

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MAP OF EAST ASIA AND OCEANIA

The Lau Group of islands are the least visited islands in Fiji with no land based tourism

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DISCOVERY CRUISE MAP TO THE LAU ISLANDS

Culture and traditions have been preserved along with a fascinating history where the chiefs of Lau ruled most of Fiji. The Lau islands have a unique Geology made up limestone that has been eroded by the elements into dramatic islets and arches.

Because the Lau Group sits between Fiji and Tonga, the islands are an intriguing mix of both cultures. People wear Tongan-style straw mats around their waists, and the rounded shape of the houses is more Tongan than Fijian in style. There are also Tongan influences in names, language and food.

HISTORY

The British explorer James Cook reached Vatoa in 1774. By the time of the discovery of the Ono Group in 1820, the Lau archipelago was the most mapped area of Fiji.

Political unity came late to the Lau Islands. Historically, they comprised three territories: the Northern Lau Islands, the Southern Lau Islands, and the Moala Islands. Around 1855, the renegade Tongan prince Enele Ma’afu conquered the region and established a unified administration. Calling himself the Tui Lau, or King of Lau, he promulgated a constitution and encouraged the establishment of Christian missions. The first missionaries had arrived at Lakeba in 1830, but had been expelled. The Tui Nayau, who had been the nominal overlord of the Lau Islands, became subject to Ma’afu.

The Tui Nayau and Tui Lau titles came into personal union in 1969, when Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara, who had already been installed as Tui Lau in 1963 by the Yavusa Tonga, was also installed as Tui Nayau following the death of his father Ratu Tevita Uluilakeba III in 1966. The title Tui Lau was left vacant from his uncle, Ratu Sir Lala Sukuna, in 1958 as referenced in Mara, The Pacific Way Paper.

The Northern Lau Islands, which extended as far south as Tuvuca, were under the overlordship of Taveuni and paid tribute to the Tui Cakau (Paramount Chief of Cakaudrove). In 1855, however, Ma’afu gained sovereignty over Northern Lau, establishing Lomaloma, on Vanua Balavu, as his capital.

The Southern Lau Islands extended from Ono-i-Lau, in the far south, to as far north as Cicia. They were the traditional chiefdom of the Tui Nayau, but with Ma’afu’s conquest in the 1850s, he became subject to Tongan supremacy.

The Moala Islands had closer affiliation with Bau Island and Lomaiviti than with Lau, but Ma’afu’s conquest united them with the Lau Islands. They have remained administratively a part of the Lau Province ever since.

CULTURE AND ECONOMY

Since they lie between Melanesian Fiji and Polynesian Tonga, the Lau Islands are a meeting point of the two cultural spheres. Lauan villages remain very traditional, and the islands’ inhabitants are renowned for their wood carving and Masi paintings. Lakeba especially was a traditional meeting place between Tongans and Fijians. The south-east trade winds allowed sailors to travel from Tonga to Fiji, but much harder to return. The Lau Island culture became more Fijian rather than Polynesian beginning around 500 BC.However, Tongan influence can still be found in names, language, food, and architecture. Unlike the square-shaped ends characterizing most houses elsewhere in Fiji, Lauan houses tend to be rounded, following the Tongan practice.

In early July 2014, Tonga’s Lands Minister, Lord Maʻafu Tukuiʻaulahi, revealed a proposal for Tonga to give the disputed Minerva Reefs to Fiji in exchange for the Lau Group. At the time that news of the proposal first broke, it had not yet been discussed with the Lau Provincial Council. Many Lauans have Tongan ancestors and some Tongans have Lauan ancestors; Tonga’s Lands Minister is named after Enele Ma’afu, the Tongan Prince who originally claimed parts of Lau for Tonga. Historically, the Minerva Reefs have been part of the fishing grounds belonging to the people of Ono-i-Lau, an island in the Lau Group.

Just off the island of Vanua Balavu at Lomaloma was the Yanuyanu Island Resort, built to encourage tourism in what has been a less accessible area of Fiji, but the small resort failed almost immediately and has been abandoned since the year 2000. An airstrip is located off Malaka village and a port is also located on Vanua Balavu, at Lomaloma. There are guest houses on Vanua Balavu and on Lakeba, the other principal island.

The Lau Islands are the center of the game of Cricket in Fiji. Cricket is the most popular team sport in Lau, unlike the rest of the country where Rugby and Association Football are preferred. The national team is invariably dominated by Lauan players.


 

Lautoka, Fiji

The city of Lautoka is situated on the northwest coast of the island of Viti Levu. The second-largest city of Fiji, Lautoka serves an important sugar cane-growing district and is the country’s leading sugar export port. As a place with a vibrant population and a colorful life, the cultural lifestyle of the people here is worth exploring. The natural wonders of Lautoka, Fiji are just as outstanding. The dancing waves of the sea, the sandy beaches, and the waving trees all are there to offer you a refreshing and memorable visit.

According to legend, Fiji’s second-largest city derives its name from a battle cry that means ‘spear-hit’. The story goes that when an argument erupted between two local chiefs, one cried out the words lau toka as he killed the other by spearing him through the chest, simultaneously stating the obvious and naming the location.

Lautoka’s recent history is entwined with the fortunes of sugar, which gives rise to its other name, Sugar City.

Lautoka doesn’t have much to detain travelers, but it is a pleasant enough spot with wide streets steeped in foliage, a picturesque esplanade, a couple of decent cafes and the backdrop of Mt Koroyanitu (Mt Evans) to remind everyone that the urban reaches are well and truly finite.

Since 1970, the population of Lautoka has grown rapidly, and in the last twenty years it has also changed dramatically in structure. In the early 1970s the population was estimated to be about 12,000, the vast majority of inhabitants being Indian, as would be expected considering the early growth of the city was entirely associated with the sugar industry. almost all of the present Indian inhabitants are descendants of the early Girmityas. In 1986 the population was 39,000 and in 1996 almost 43,000, but it is not clear exactly how the boundaries of the urban area were defined at either of these censuses. In 2005 the population including the suburban zones was probably about 50,000, occupying a total area of about 16 km². The population of Lautoka including the rural districts is around 80,000. But much of the recent growth of the city itself has been due to indigenous Fijians moving into the urban area.

Port of Lautoka is the main maritime gateway for western Viti Levu and is the second largest port in Fiji. The port is mainly used for bulk sugar, molasses, woodchips, petroleum, and gas. The port is also used for cruises, Blue Lagoon Cruises and Nai’s Cruises are based here.

Lautoka is served by Pacific Transport and Sunbeam buses. Pacific Transport connects Lautoka directly to Nadi Intl Airport and Ba  Sunbeam runs 8 times daily Queen’s Highway Service, linking Lautoka to Suva with stops at Nadi International Airport, Nadi Town, Fijian (Shangri – La) Resort, Sigatoka Town, Abua Sands, Hideaway Resort, Naviti Resort, Korolevu, Warwick Resorts, Beach House, Crusoes Retreat Junction, Deuba Inn and Tradewinds Lami.

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PORT OF LAUTOKA

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PORT OF LAUTOKA

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PORT OF LAUTOKA

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PORT OF LAUTOKA

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PORT OF LAUTOKA

STREETS OF LAUTOKA

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LAUTOKA, FIJI

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LAUTOKA, FIJI

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LAUTOKA, FIJI

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LAUTOKA, FIJI

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LAUTOKA, FIJI

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LAUTOKA, FIJI

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LAUTOKA, FIJI   –  LAUTOKA JAMIA MASJID (MOSQUE)

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LAUTOKA, FIJI  –    LAUTOKA JAMIA MASJID (MOSQUE)

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LAUTOKA, FIJI

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LAUTOKA, FIJI   –   SIGN OUTSIDE A CLOTHING STORE

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LAUTOKA, FIJI   –    LITTLE JACKS CLOTHING STORE

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LAUTOKA, FIJI   –   FU-XING CHINESE RESTAURANT

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LAUTOKA, FIJI

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LAUTOKA, FIJI


 

 

MAKOGAI ISLAND

Makogai Island

Makogai is an island belonging to Fiji’s Lomaiviti Archipelago. Covering an area of 8.4 square kilometers, it is situated at 17.26° South and 178.58° East. It has a maximum altitude of 267 meters. Makogai is visible from Ovalau.

From 1911 to 1969, this was a leprosy colony staffed by Catholic nuns and many of the old hospital buildings still remain. Over the years, some 4500 patientsfrom Fiji and other Pacific Island nations were cared for on the island.

Among 1241 souls interred in the patient’s cemetery on the hill is Mother Marie Agnes the “kindly tyrant’  who ran the facility for 34 years . Both the British and French governments honored her with their highest decorations and upon retiring at the age of 80, she commented that “the next medal will be given in heaven.”

Also buried here is Maria Filomena, a Fijian sister who had worked at the colony from its inception. After contracting leprosy in 1925, she joined her patients and continued serving them for another 30 years. Only in 1948  was an effective treatment for leprosy  introduced, allowing the colony to be phased out over the next two decades.

Mariculture at Makogai

Today. Makogai is owned by the Fijian Government and it was declared a Marine Protected Reserve in 1989.The Island nowadays well known for its clam shell and turtle nursery.

In 2011, Makogai  officially became a Mariculture Center.  One of the main projects that the team of Fisheries officers  based here work on, is culturing giant clams (Tridacna). Once on abundance on Fiji’s reefs, many species have been over-harvested and current levels are low.

The Adductor muscle is considered a delicacy and an aphrodisiac in China, which coupled with the  harvesting  of clams for food, shells and the aquarian trade – it is unsurpring  that they have found themselves on the IUCN’S vulnerable list..

In the 1980’S An Australian  funded project began culturing them at Makogai –  and thousands have since been transplanted to various parts of Fiji.

The old hospital beds lined up in the shallows of Dalice Bay are used to protect juvenile clams once they have been transplanted from the on shore breeding facility. Once deemed large enough to fend for themselves, they are available for repopulating other reefs around Fiji. The important role that “vasua’  (clams) play on the coral reef is often overlooked.

A single giant clam can filter hundreds of liters of water in a day. As filter feeders , this keystone  species offers a great line of defense against an outbreak of pesky “crown of thorns,starfish,” by filtering out thousands of microscopic  spawn.

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CAPTAIN COOK REEF ENDEAVOR VISITORS COME ASHORE AT MAKOGAI

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THE OLD LEPER COLONY REMAINS AT MAKOGAI

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SOME REMNANTS OF THE OLD LEPER COLONY

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AN OLD WORKSHOP AY MAKOGAI

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THE MOVIE THEATER AT MAKOGAI

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AN OLD DORMITORY AT MAKOGAI

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THE OLD STAIRS AT THE WOMEN’S HOSPITAL ON MAKOGAI

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MANY VISITORS BROUGHT GIFTS OF SCHOOL SUPLIES TO THE VILLAGE AT MAKOGAI

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A STUDENT AT THE MAKOGAI LOCAL SCHOOL

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LAVENA, TAVEUNI

Taveuni is the third-largest island in Fiji, after Vanua Levu and Viti Levu, with a total land area of 434 square kilometres.

The island had a population of around 9,000, some 75 percent of them indigenous Fijians, at the 1996 census. Taveuni has abundant flora and is known as the ‘Garden Island of Fiji’. It is a popular tourist destination. Tourists are attracted to the excellent diving opportunities, prolific bird life, bushwalks, and waterfalls. Central parts of the island receive very high rainfall rates. Being volcanic in origin Taveuni’s soils have supported the island’s most historically significant industry, agriculture.

The population is concentrated mostly on the more sheltered western side of the island. Taveuni has eight major villages. Halfway down the west coast is the administrative center of Waiyevo. The largest urban area, however, comprises the twin villages of Somosomo and Naqara. As the traditional fiefdom of the Tui Cakau, one of Fiji’s highest-ranked chiefs, Somosomo is regarded as the capital of the Tovata Confederacy, while Naqara, an Indo-Fijian settlement, is the island’s commercial center. The main hospital is located at Waiyevo while a number of nursing stations and health centers are located around the island.

In 1643, Abel Tasman became the first European to sight Taveuni. Visibility was poor and he mistook the peaks of Taveuni to be separate islands. Historically, Vuna was considered to be the paramount village on Taveuni when the Tui Cakau (Ratu Yavala) resided there, but tribal warfare eventually established the supremacy of Somosomo. In the late 1860s, the Tongan warlord Enele Ma’afu, who had conquered the Lau Islands, was defeated by the Tui Cakau’s army in a skirmish at Somosomo. Several islands that sided with Ma’afu were sold by the Tui Cakau at that time to European settlers in punishment, and their inhabitants were moved to Taveuni. The villages of Lovonivonu and Kanacea  are populated by their descendants.

In fact, Enele Ma’afu was not defeated by the Tui Cakau’s army as stated above. He was in Tonga at that time. In July 1862: Ma’afu went for a visit to Tonga with Tui Bua to seek resolution about his campaign in Fiji with Tongan Parliament. During his absence, Wainiqolo, one of his lieutenant waged war on Golea. Wainiqolo was shot dead on the beach at Wairiki and the Tongans were slaughtered.

Wainiqolo had taken Tui Cakau prisoner when Golea was involved in an internal Cakaudrove campaign. It was an opportune time by Wainiqolo to initiate his campaign whilst Golea was involved in an internal struggle on Vanualevu. Ma’afu never forgave Wainiqolo for the act that he did and removed all land allocated to him. Historians saw this anger as confirmation that Ma’afu was not part of the Wainiqolo plot to conquer Tui Cakau while he was away in Tonga. The unprovoked attack by Wainiqolo was regarded by the Tui Cakau as cancelling his obligation to respect the right of Ma’afu to islands which had been formerly part of Cakaudrove chiefdom. Golea proceeded to resell the whole of Vanuabalavu to Europeans.

On 3 February 1865 a Court of Arbitration was convened by British Consul Jones who handed down the Court’s decision that Ma’afu was the lawful owner of Vanuabalavu and associated islands. Ma’afu immediately executed an affidavit the following day to the effect that Vanuabalavu and all the other lands given to him. The life of Enele Ma’afu the Tui Lau has been documented in “Summary of Key Historical Events”. Na Tikina Makawa o Vuna was not defeated by Somosomo as the above statement reads. In fact, historically Taveuni was owned and controlled by two distinct Chieftainship, Tikina o Vuna from the South & one on the North of Taveuni. The Tui Cakau has his land over water opposite Taveuni island and the central part of Taveuni.

In 1876, a 2.4 metres (7.9 feet) horse tramway was constructed on the Selia Levu estate to transport sugar cane to a mill.

The island’s agricultural output is a significant contributor to the Fijian economy. Copra has been traditionally the most important crop produced on Taveuni, and has always been the staple of the local economy. In recent times farmers have mainly shifted to growing taro, kava and other speciality crops like vanilla, along with tropical fruit and coffee. During the American Civil War (1861–1865), cotton was raised on Taveuni and exported to Europe. Sugarcane was also grown for a brief period. Livestock such as sheep, cattle and poultry are also raised, but animal husbandry lags behind crop production in economic importance. In recent times, tourism has become a contributor to the local economy, with about a dozen small resorts providing accommodation options for visitors and employment and business opportunities to the local population.

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TAVEUNI ISLAND

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TAVEUNI ISLAN

QELENI VILLAGE, TAVEUNI ISLAND, FIJI

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QELENI VILLAGE, TAVEUNI ISLAND, FIJI

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QELENI VILLAGE, TAVEUNI ISLAND, FIJI

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QELENI VILLAGE, TAVEUNI ISLAND, FIJI

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QELENI VILLAGE, TAVEUNI ISLAND, FIJI 


WAILAGILALA ISLAND

Wailagilala Island is located in the Northern Lau group of islands and is one of only two sand atolls in the Fijian Archipelago. The island has never been lived upon by any human, be they Fijian or European, its soil has never been cultivated and poisons of any sort ever permitted to tarnish its pure, natural state and so is as nature intended a tropical paradise to be.

Literally translated as “no water or rain”, Wailagilala lies to the eastern sea border of the Fiji archipelago in the South Pacific, and is the gateway to Fiji for ships coming or going to Samoa through the Nanuku Passage. Its crystal-clear waters are attributed to its remote location and lack of terrestrial water run-off.

The island has an abandoned cast iron lighthouse, 95 feet long, built about 1909. It is believed to have been prefabricated in England and shipped in sections to the South Pacific. The island has been uninhabited since the lighthouse was converted to automatic operation.

Dominated by its lighthouse, the sand island is surrounded by a  spectacular lagoon and coral reefs. The reef protecting the island has a deep, wide, fairly well-marked pass that appears to have been blasted through it, allowing easy passage into the lagoon and the sandy anchorage just off the island.

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WAILAGILALA

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WAILAGALILA – LIGHTHOUSE

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WAILAGILALA

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WAILAGILALA

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WAILAGILALA

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WAILAGILALA

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WAILAGILALA

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WAILAGILALA

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WAILAGILALA


BAY OF ISLANDS, VANUABALAVA

Vanua Balavu (Long Island) is a long and winding island with uplifted coral in the north, and volcanic landforms in the south.

A huge lagoon bounded by a 130-kilometer barrier reef encloses a 37-by-16-kilometer lagoon extending east. One could cruise here for seven days or more without moving outside of the reefs. It is a well-watered island that has natural hot springs like Savusavu, yet these are large enough to soak in if you feel like visiting one of Mother Nature’s spas!

The island has about 1200 or so inhabitants, spread between 17 villages nestled along the coastline. A small clinic/hospital serves the local population, and of course there is a school. This island will give you a taste of the old South Pacific.

History tells us that the Tongan warlord Ma’afu (who invaded Fiji from Tonga by working his way up through the Lau group of islands) made the chiefly village of Lomaloma the base from which he would attempt to conquer the rest of Fiji – there is a small monument near the wharf in recognition of this.

The kinship between Fijians and Tongans here remains strong, with some 400 Tongans living in the southern portion of the Sawana village.

In 1840, Commodore Wilkes of the U.S. Exploring Expedition, named Vanua Balavu and its adjacent islands within the barrier reef, as the ‘exploring isles’. In these old sailing days, Lomaloma was an important Port for ships coming from Tonga.

After 1874 when Fiji became a British colony, the economic importance of Vanua Balavu dwindled, and the island hasn’t changed much since. There are no restaurants, bars, nightclubs, banks or travel agencies, and shopping is limited to a couple of village stores – so you should only bring Fijian currency to deal in. Owing to this lack of development, the island is truly unspoiled.

The island has a beautiful harbour for yachts at the north end called the Bay of Islands (or Qilaqila in Fijian), for which it is famed. This Bay is a recognized hurricane shelter. Here you will find The Qilaqila Marine Reserve. With so few human residents and visitors, coupled with a lack of development, the reefs of Vanua Balavu are relatively pristine.

Vanua Balavu’s largest village is Lomaloma on the southeast coast. In the mid-19th century Tonga conquered the island, and the village of Sawana was built next to Lomaloma. Fifth-generation Tongan descendants still live in Sawana, and the houses with rounded ends show the influence of Tongan architecture.

At one time, ships trading in the Pacific regularly visited Lomaloma and it had the first port in Fiji. In its heyday Lomaloma had many hotels and shops, as well as Fiji’s first botanical gardens, though little remains of its past grandeur.

One week after the full moon in November, the people of Vanua Balavu witness the annual rising of the balolo (tiny green and brown sea worms). At sunrise the Susui villagers collect worms by the thousands. The fishy-tasting baked worms are considered a delicacy.

The international date line isn’t straight because it was made to sort of wiggle around the Fijian Islands so they would all be on the same side. Otherwise it could have been Monday in some of the islands when it was Tuesday in others.

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Fiji Religion

Fiji is a multi-racial, multi-cultural nation, the population of Fiji is made up of significant numbers of followers of all major religions.Fiji will find Christian churches, mosques, and Sikh and Hindu temples throughout the country. Visitors are more than welcome to join the locals for Sunday worship and it’s highly recommended, even if you’re not that religious.

A Methodist service will gives us a good insight into how the Fijian village culture is structured and why the people are so friendly and family-focussed. You may not understand many of the words, but the singing and ceremony will stay in your memory.

 

ONEATA ISLAND

The local people of Oneata welcomed us to their Tongan Methodist church for Sunday service.

Oneata Island This island is made up of Lime stone. There are two villages Waiqori and Dakuiloa.  Oneata Island apart from being the first island to have lasting contact with Europeans was also the first place in 1830 that missionaries arrived. These were two Tahitian missionaries (members of London Missionary Society).They were adopted by a local chief who had previously visited Tonga and Tahiti.The men spent the rest of their lives on the Island and there is a monument to them at the Dakaluo village.

The church service that we went to see was of Methodist denomination.The service is usually conducted in the Fijian language. The choir is very good and they carry th e collection plate at the end of the service.

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ONEATA ISLAND

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ONEATA ISLAND – VISITORS HAVE ARRIVED FROM THE REEF ENDEAVOR CRUISE SHIP

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ONEATA METHODIST CHURCH

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ONEATA METHODIST CHURCH

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ONEATA METHODIST CHURCH

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ONEATA METHODIST CHURCH

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ONEATA METHODIST CHURCH

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ONEATA METHODIST CHURCH – AFTER THE VISITORS HAVE LEFT, THE PASTOR CONTINUES WITH HIS SERMON

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ONEATA METHODIST CHURCH

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ONEATA METHODIST CHURCH – CONGREGANTS POSING AFTER SERVICE

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ONEATA METHODIST CHURCH – AFTER THE SERVICE

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ONEATA METHODIST CHURCH

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ONEATA METHODIST CHURCH

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ONEATA METHODIST CHURCH

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ONEATA METHODIST CHURCH


FULAGA ISLAND

Fulaga consists of jungle-covered hills, and raised coral around a lagoon about 6 miles by 5 miles. Inside the lagoon are countless mushroom like islets, and some larger islands. It may be half way to Tonga, but is the the most beautiful and unique place that we have visited.

Fulaga is known for building large outrigger canoes an the spectacular Fulaga Lagoon.

Fulaga Lagoon, a shallow, turquoise bay dotted with dozens of small, mushroom-shaped limestone islands and tiny white sand beaches.The lagoon is full of oddly shaped islets scattered around, It is like a maze of little islands. They are all carved away at the base from the tides flowing in and out.  The water  around them is tinged with spectacular colors by the dissolved limestone and there are numerous beaches.

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FULAGA LAGOON

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FULAGA LAGOON

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FULAGA LAGOON

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FULAGA LAGOON

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FULAGA LAGOON

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FULAGA LAGOON

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FULAGA LAGOON

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FULAGA LAGOON

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FULAGA LAGOON, WITH THE YAGASA ISLAND IN THE BACKGROUND

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YAGASA ISLAND, NAVUTURIRA BEACH

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VUAQAVA ISLAND

Vuaqava Island has been uninhabited since it suffered a cholera outbreak in the 1860s, when the sick were dragged into caves and left to die, and villagers moved to nearby Kabara Island. But their descendants still return to fish, and to guide those of us who choose to go on an hour-long hike through jungle to see the island’s large saltwater lake and the skeleton-riddled caves, and view turtles, snakes & amazing bird life.

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VUAQAVA ISLAND

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VUAQAVA ISLAND

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VUAQAVA ISLAND

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VUAQAVA ISLAND – HIKERS ON THE WAY TO THE SALT WATER LAKE

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VUAQAVA SALT WATER LAKE

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VUAQAVA SALT WATER LAKE TURTLE


KABARA

Kabara is an island of Fiji, a member of the Lau archipelago. With a land area of 12 sq miles, its population of some 700 lives in four villages.

The islanders are noted for their craftsmanship in the area of wood carving. Vesi wood (Intsia bijuga), which grows natively on Kabara, is the traditional material, but deforestation has stripped the island, leaving only 8% of the island covered with Vesi trees. A program of reforestation has been started, but as Vesi trees take 70–80 years to mature, carvers are being encouraged to use as little Vesi wood as possible. Sandalwood, known locally as yasi, is being promoted as an alternative. Unlike Vesi, sandalwood takes only 30–40 years to mature.

Fiji Village news service reported on 28 March 2006 that the World Wide Fund for Nature had donated thirteen 5000-gallon water tanks to Kabara, which would likely eliminate water shortages on the island.

A notable native from Kabara was the late wood carver Jone Lupe, whose family have been engaged in the craft for generations.

At Kabara Island we  witnessed a typical Sevusevu  ceremony, a handover of our offering of Yaqona (Kava).

Yaqona (pronounced yangona) is Fiji’s national drink. It’s made from the pulverised root of a member of the pepper family. It’s believed to have medicinal qualities (apart from making you feel mellow).

Legend has it that the ceremony came from Tonga where the plant sprang from the grave of a Tongan princess who died of a broken heart. In a formal yaqona ceremony authority is given by the village spokesman to begin mixing the kava.

When mixed, a server will carry a cup (‘bilo’) to the chief guest, who must clap (‘cobo’) once before and after completely drinking the first cup. The order of serving depends on the status of those present, from the highest-ranking chief down.

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SEVUSEVU CEREMONY ON KABARA ISLAND

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SEVUSEVU CEREMONY ON KABARA ISLAND

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SEVUSEVU CEREMONY ON KABARA ISLAND

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SEVUSEVU CEREMONY ON KABARA ISLAND

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SEVUSEVU CEREMONY ON KABARA ISLAND

THE MASTER CARVERS OF KABARA ISLAND

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THE MASTER CARVERS OF KABARA ISLAND

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THE MASTER CARVERS OF KABARA ISLAND

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THE MASTER CARVERS OF KABARA ISLAND

A WALK AROUND KABARA ISLAND

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KABARA ISLAND CHURCH

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KABARA ISLAND CHURCH

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KABARA POST OFFICE

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KABARA SCHOOL

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KABARA ISLAND TEACHER’S HOME

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KABARA HEALTH CENTRE

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KABARA HEALTH CENTRE

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KABARA HEALTH CENTRE

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KABRA HEALTH CENTRE – THE DOCTOR’S CONSULTATION OFFICE

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ABARA HEALTH CENTRE – PATIENTS ROOM

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KABARA HEALTH CENTRE

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KABARA HEALTH CENTRE

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KABARA HEALTH CENTRE – VACCINE REFRIGERATOR

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KABARA HEALTH CENTRE – PHARMACY

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KABARA HEALTH CENTRE – OUTPATIENT DISPENSARY

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KABARA ISLAND – SOLAR PANELS, SATELLITE DISHES  AND 500 GALLON WATER TANKS

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KABARA ISLAND FAMILY

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KABARA ISLAND – VILLAGERS SELLING COCOANUTS AND SHELLLS TO THE VISITORS

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KABARA ISLAND VILLAGERS PREPARING FOR A MARRIAGE CEREMONY LATER IN THE DAY

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KABARA ISLAND PREPARING FOR A MARRIAGE CEREMONY ON THE BEACH

LATER IN THE LATE AFTERNOON WE RETURN TO KABARA ISLAND FOR A LOVO FEAST AND A SPECTACULAR MEKE

Lovo, the traditional form of cooking, of Fiji. This is the Fijian name for a feast cooked in the earth. The taste is like a barbeque, only a little more smoked, and it’s a very efficient way to cook large quantities of food at the same time.

The first step in preparing a Lovo is heating the rocks which will serve as the base for the lovo.  Specially selected stones are placed in a hot fire and left to absorb the heat. When the rocks are sufficiently heated, they are pulled from the flames and placed in the bottom of a shallow pit.

Next, chicken, fish and pork are tightly wrapped in a weave of palm fronds or banana leaves before being place in the bottom of the lovo pit lined with hot rocks.  On top goes various root crops including dalo (the potato like root of the taro plant), cassava (the root of the tapioca plant) and Uvi (wild yam).

Once the pit is filled with food, the entire hole is filled with earth and left to ‘cook’ for anywhere from two to three hours depending on the amount of food.

Unearthing the lovo is done with great celebration and the succulent morsels which emerge are unwrapped and placed on large banana leaves to cool before the feasting begins.

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KABARA ISLAND LOVO FEAST

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KABARA ISLAND LOVO FEAST

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KABARA ISLAND LOVO FEAST

The MEKE

Music is woven into the fabric of Fiji and the Meke embraces traditional song and dance to tell of legends, love stories, history and spirits of the islands. It can vary from a blood-curdling spear dance to a gentle and graceful fan dance.

There are two groups in the make – the orchestra (Vakatara), who sit on the ground and sing or chant for the second group, the dancers (Matana).

The instruments are percussion (hardwood gongs, bamboo tubes, beating sticks etc). For the Meke the performers wear garlands of flowers (Salusalu), the men wear full warrior costume and the women, in traditional clothes, glisten with scented coconut oil.

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KABARA ISLAND MEKE

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KABARA ISLAND MEKE

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KABARA ISLAND MEKE

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KABARA ISLAND MEKE

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TOTOYA ISLAND

Totoya is a volcanic island in the Moala subgroup ofa Fiji’s Lau archipelago. It occupies an area of 28 km², making it the smallest of the Yasayasa Moala Group. Its maximum elevation is 366 metres above sea level.

The horseshoe-shaped island is well protected by a high reef. There are a number of boat passages through the surrounding reef. These passages lead into the beautiful deep bay that is surrounded by the island. The island’s unspoiled, untouched white sandy beaches are comparable to any in Fiji or the world. Its surfing is world-renowned, but the difficulty in reaching the island keeps most away.

The island has a well-placed jetty, 4 primary schools, not including Vanuavatu, which has its own, a Post office/shop, and radio-telephone stations at Ketei and Dravuwalu. It is accessible technologically by satellite phone provided by Telecom Fiji, but not mobile cellular phones.

The island has 4 villages with Tovu, the capital and seat of the Turaga na Roko Sau whose household site is known as “Mataiilakeba”. Ketei is the seat of Tui Ketei, traditionally known as Ramalo, the King maker. The “Turaga Ramalo” has the ancient and prestigious role of installing Totoya’s High chief, a role that has become obsolete because of rivalry. The third village, Dravuwalu, is the seat of Tui Dravuwalu, traditionally known as Nakorowaiwai and Udu, the fourth village, is the seat of Tui Udu, traditionally known as Muaicokalau. The island of Vanuavatu, although closer to the islands of Lakeba and Nayau than the island of Totoya, is listed as the fifth village within the District and is the seat of Tui Vanua.

Vanuavatu has historically and traditionally been the personal possession of the Turaga Na Roko Sau, the High Chief of Totoya and the Yasayasa Moala Group as a whole. Further to this in colonial times when the colonial government administratively subdivided the Provinces into districts, with a colonial appointed chief or ‘Buli’ as leader the island had to fall into a colonially administered district under Totoya. Traditionally the High Chief of Totoya district, Roko Sau has dominion over Vanuavatu island and its people. However, Vanuavatu is the seat of Tui Vanua who answers directly to the Roko Sau. Also present within Vanuavatu is the title of Matakitotoya a representative post which further links the Roko Sau to his people and land of Vanuavatu and avoids any alienation from it.

The island is very rich in marine resources and one could have a field day out at sea. One famous delicacy is Lairo or land crabs, which are plentiful all year round. Giant sea clam, a variety of seaweeds and just about any variety of fish can be caught by angling, spear fishing, net fishing, underwater diving, or by traditional means.

We were able to  visit the primary school with the children putting on a show for the visitors.

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TOTOYA ISLAND

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TOTOYA ISLAND VILLAGE

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TOTOYA ISLAND VILLAGE

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TOTOYA ISLAND PRIMARY SCHOOL

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TOTOYA ISLAND PRIMARY SCHOOL

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TOTOYA ISLAND SCHOOL – VISITORS AND STUDENTS DANCE

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TOTOYA ISLAND STUDENTS

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TOTOYA ISLAND STUDENTS

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TOTOYA ISLAND

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TOTOYA ISLAND PRIMARY SCHOOL TEACHER


 


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KADAVU  ISLAND

Kadavu  has a population of approximately 8700 and lies only 88 kilometers south of Suva. Kadavu is approximately 48 kilometers in length and varies in width from 365 meters to 13 kilometers. With an area of 411 square kilometres, is the fourth largest island in Fiji, and the largest island in the Kadavu Group, a volcanic archipelago consisting of Kadavu, Ono, Galoa and a number of smaller islands in the Great Astrolabe Reef.

Kadavu has several high mountains and numerous precipitous cliffs. In short it is a rugged island with few roads, which makes water taxis the prime mode of transportation. The airport, a government station and a new hospital are located at the eastern end of the island in the village of Vunisea.

Kadavu was once known for the whaling station at Galoa Harbour, also as a port of call for steamers bound for New Zealand and Australia.  As in most other regions of Fiji in the 1800s, Kadavu had its fair share of scoundrels and ruffians, such as local legend Vedori, who in 1838 ransomed the entire crew of a ship for items such as whale’s teeth, axes and a case of pipes. Quite a long way from today’s eco paradise!

The Great Astrolabe Reef surrounds Kadavu.  It is one of the largest barrier reefs in the word, and a world-famous dive spot that manages to be still largely unspoiled.  You can swim with Manta Rays, or dive wrecks and swim through coral gardens – the Great Astrolabe Reef offers a huge range of underwater experiences.  All resorts at Kadavu  offer the chance to snorkel or scuba dive here.

Despite its proximity to the population center of Viti Levu, the population of Kadavu is deeply conservative. Perhaps the conservatism can be traced to the difficulty of getting around the island and the resulting isolation of its communities. Though remote, Kadavu is well known by divers for its rich diversity of undersea life, particularly in the Astrolabe Reef. Likewise there is a great deal of terrestrial flora and fauna of interest, particularly the birds. The colorful Kadavu Parrot, which is now a protected species, can be easily observed.

 

 

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KADAVU ISLAND, FIJI

We are taken to Kadavu Island where the villagers welcome us and perform a sevusevu ceremony.

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CRIMSON SHINING PARROT OF KADAVU


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NALOTU VILLAGE, KADAVU ISLAND, FIJI

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VISITORS FROM THE CAPTAIN COOK FIJI CRUISES ARE WELCOMED TO NALOTU VILLAGE

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NALOTU VILLAGE, KADAVU ISLAND, FIJI – A WELCOME BY THE VILLAGE WARRIOR

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NALOTU VILLAGE, KADAVU ISLAND, FIJI – A WELCOME BY THE VILLAGE

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NALOTU VILLAGE, KADAVU ISLAND, FIJI – A WELCOME BY THE VILLAGE

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NALOTU VILLAGE, KADAVU ISLAND, FIJI – A WELCOME BY THE VILLAGE

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NALOTU VILLAGE, KADAVU ISLAND, FIJI – A WELCOME BY THE VILLAGE

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NALOTU VILLAGE, KADAVU ISLAND, FIJI – A WELCOME BY THE VILLAGE

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NALOTU VILLAGE, KADAVU ISLAND, FIJI – A WELCOME BY THE VILLAGE

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NALOTU VILLAGE, KADAVU ISLAND, FIJI – A WELCOME BY THE VILLAGE

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NALOTU VILLAGE, KADAVU ISLAND, FIJI – A WELCOME BY THE VILLAGE – WALKING TO THE PRIMARY SCHOOL FOR THE SEVUSEVU CEREMONY

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NALOTU VILLAGE, KADAVU ISLAND, FIJI – A WELCOME SEVUSEVU CEREMONY

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A WALK AROUND NALOTU VILLAGE  KADAVU ISLAND

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NALOTU VILLAGE, KADAVU ISLAND, FIJI

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NALOTU VILLAGE, KADAVU ISLAND, FIJI

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NALOTU VILLAGE, KADAVU ISLAND, FIJI – CHURCH

 

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NALOTU VILLAGE, KADAVU ISLAND, FIJI – CHURCH

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NALOTU VILLAGE, KADAVU ISLAND, FIJI A VILLAGE GATHERING

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NALOTU VILLAGE, KADAVU ISLAND, FIJI – CRUSHING THE KAVA ROOT FOR THE SEVOSEVU CEREMONY

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NALOTU VILLAGE, KADAVU ISLAND, FIJI

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NALOTU VILLAGE, KADAVU ISLAND, FIJI

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NALOTU VILLAGE, KADAVU ISLAND, FIJI – PIGS

 

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THE INDO-FIJIANS

Most IndoFijians are the descendants of indentured laborers brought to Fiji during the nineteenth century by the British. In the system of indentured labor, workers (who had been moved to a new country against their will) were forced to perform a job for little or no pay until they earned enough money to buy their freedom. The system was created to provide cheap workers for British colonies after the abolition of slavery in Britain and its colonies in 1833.

The first indentured laborers from India arrived in Fiji in 1879 and the indenture system lasted until 1916. Other immigrants from India arrived in Fiji in the early twentieth century, and they opened small shops in the coastal towns. The IndoFijians are part of the south Asian diaspora(a community of ethnically related displaced peoples) that includes the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius, Trinidad in the Caribbean, Guyana in South America, South Africa, and North America.

The Fijian archipelago (string of islands) is located in the western Pacific Ocean. The climate of Fiji is tropical with plenty of rainfall, sunshine, and high humidity. The largest islands within the 800-island group are Viti Levu and Vanua Levu. The vast majority of IndoFijians reside on Viti Levu.

Today, IndoFijians make up around 43 percent of the total population. Before the military coup of 1987, IndoFijians made up close to 48 percent of the total population, but about 5 percent have moved to Australia, Canada, and the United States. In the 1960s, IndoFijians outnumbered the indigenous Fijians.

The overwhelming majority of IndoFijians speak Fiji Hindustani, or Fiji Hindi. This language developed out of contact between speakers of different dialects of Hindi/Urdu (one of the native languages of India) and their bosses on the colonial-era sugar plantations. Although Indian laborers could communicate fairly well, they had some difficulty at times being understood. Over time, a unified dialect emerged. Since then, it has become the language of Indo-Fijian identity.

The folklore of the IndoFijians derives from traditional Indian folklore. Important epic stories and myths such as the Rāmāyanaand the Mahābhārataare read, chanted, and recounted by IndoFijians at ceremonies and celebrations. The epic drama of Rama and Sita is performed at most religious festivals.

The Indian laborers brought their religions with them to Fiji. Hinduism and Islam both exist on Fiji today, alongside Christianity and traditional forms of Fijian religious practice. The majority of the indentured laborers moved to Fiji were Hindu. As a result, Hinduism is the major religion among IndoFijians.

Hinduism is a polytheistic religion, meaning Hindus believe in a variety of gods. Each god has specific characteristics, functions, and powers. There are sects that are devoted to the worship of a particular god and shrines are created to provide offerings. These practices continue among the Indo-Fijian communities in Fiji and abroad.

Major holidays for IndoFijians center on the religious calendars. Hindus celebrate Diwali (the festival of lights) in early November and Holi (a festival of singing and light-hearted play). Families also sponsorpujas,which are ceremonies that include prayers, offerings, and feasts. Pujas take place on birthdays and other special occasions when it is appropriate to give thanks for good fortune and blessings. Muslim IndoFijians observe the fasting and prayer practices during the month of Ramadan. Other secular holidays include the Queen’s Birthday, Boxing Day, and Fiji Day.

The standard greeting in Fiji Hindi isnamaste.This greeting comes directly from Hindi as spoken in India.

Dating was unknown among unmarried IndoFijians until late in the twentieth century. In the past, marriages were always arranged; this practice continues, but dating has been accepted. Interracial dating among IndoFijians and Fijians is disapproved of by both groups. IndoFijians do have dating relationships with other groups on the island, however, such as Europeans.

Fijian law dictated that non-Fijians could not live in Fijian villages. This law made for segregation between the Fijians and IndoFijians. IndoFijians had to create their own communities or move to the coastal towns. These would later become centers of commerce and trade that would provide for the economic prosperity of the IndoFijians.

Western-style housing made from concrete blocks or wood is the preferred style of housing for IndoFijians.

Many jobs in Indo-Fijian society are traditionally done by males only. Musicians, religious leaders, and cooks for public functions like weddings andpujas(worship ceremonies) are almost always men. Male children are usually preferred over female children. Male children are also usually given much more freedom and independence than females.

In most traditional societies of India, marriages are arranged by parents. In some cases, the couple has no say in the matter. In recent years, this system has become less rigid and couples have more choice in their selection of mates. Male offspring generally inherit the majority of their parents’ property and are expected to divide it among themselves.

Indentured Indian workers brought their styles of cooking and some of their food crops with them to Fiji in the nineteenth century.Roti,a staple bread served with every meal, and rice and curry, a hot spice, are the basis of Indo-Fijian food. Roti is used like a spoon to scoop up pieces of food and rice. Tradition requires that only the right hand be used when eating. The left hand must remain in the lap.

Formal education for the children of indentured Indian laborers in Fiji did not begin until 1898. Schools were then opened by Catholic and Methodist missionaries who also opened mission schools for Fijian children much earlier. IndoFijians stress the importance of education with their children and many go on to complete advanced degrees at universities and colleges in other countries.

Traditional music and film are both important among IndoFijians. Almost all of the entertainment that IndoFijians enjoy is produced outside of Fiji. The Indian film and music industries provide the latest hits from the most popular film and music stars of India. Most shops carry a wide selection of cassettes and videos, along with imported Indian foods. Traditional music and dance are also performed.

Traditional south Asian forms of entertainment, including classical forms of music and dance, are enjoyed and practiced within the Indo-Fijian community. Music and dance academies have also been established by the IndoFijians that have left Fiji and moved to Sydney, Australia.

IndoFijians still face difficulties living in Fiji. Although relations between the IndoFijians and Fijians have improved since 1988, there is still resentment and anger on both sides. The coup adversely affected the tourist industry, which has not regained the ground it had prior to the coup. The flight of IndoFijians after the coup resulted in the loss of over one-third of the nation’s doctors, one-half of its lawyers, and a great number of teachers and nurses.


 

 

FIJI  LANGUAGE

When the earliest inhabitants of Fiji arrived 3500 years ago, they brought with them the language of the homeland they had set sail from – an island in Vanuatu, or possibly the Solomons (but certainly not Africa!)

That language has changed and splintered over the years into a multitude of different ‘communalects’ now numbering more than 300. This is because language divides naturally as people spread out, and there may have been some additional input from more recent immigrants from other islands lying to the west.

The Fijian ‘communalects’ belong to the enormous Austronesian language family, which means they are related to thousands of other languages spanning the globe from Malagasy in the west to Rapanui (Easter Island) in the east, from Aotearoa (New Zealand) in the south to Hawaii and Taiwan in the north. The family includes such important national languages as Tagalog (Philippines) and Malay. After Fiji had been settled, the flow of population continued north and east. The languages of Polynesia (such as Maori, Tahitian, Tongan, Samoan and Hawaiian), the language of the tiny island of Rotuma to the north of Fiji, and of course their speakers, all originated in Fiji more than 3000 years ago. These relationships can be clearly seen in the following table of selected words.

The early missionaries had a keen appreciation of the importance of using local language in their work, and by 1840 had already devised an excellent spelling system for Fijian as well as published a number of books in different ‘communalects’. When the need for a standard language became apparent, they selected the language of Bau, the tiny island off the south-east coast of Viti Levu which was, and in some ways still is, the seat of the major power in Fijian politics. Nowadays the spoken Fijian of the towns and the Fijian used in books and newspapers are both known as ‘Bauan’, even though neither is quite the same as the language of the island of Bau.

The early missionaries had a keen appreciation of the importance of using local language in their work, and by 1840 had already devised an excellent spelling system for Fijian as well as published a number of books in different ‘communalects’. When the need for a standard language became apparent, they selected the language of Bau, the tiny island off the south-east coast of Viti Levu which was, and in some ways still is, the seat of the major power in Fijian politics. Nowadays the spoken Fijian of the towns and the Fijian used in books and newspapers are both known as ‘Bauan’, even though neither is quite the same as the language of the island of Bau.

While many of its Pacific relatives, such as Hawaiian and Maori, have been struggling for survival, Fijian has never been in serious danger of extinction, even though it was ignored for a long time in schools. The vast majority of Fijians have always used it as their everyday language, and most Indians understand at least some. In rural communities like Levuka, Taveuni and Savusavu, the Indians all speak Fijian fluently. In general, however, English is the lingua franca in Fiji.

Since independence in 1970, Fijian has also been increasingly used on the radio, in books and newspapers, and in the schools. To ensure that future evolution of the language has a sound base, the government has set up a department to research and develop the Fijian language. The department’s first major task is to compile a dictionary of Fijian for Fijians, with all definitions and other information in Fijian, which when completed will be the first of its kind in the Pacific.

 

 


MV LIAHONA

MV Liahona

MV Liahona – South Island Ferry and Shipping Service
Carries up to one hundred passengers and has a franchise routes of lower southern Lau and northern Lau.
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MV LIAHONA – SOUTH PACIFIC INTER ISLAND FERRY AND SHIPPING SERVICE

 

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MV LIAHONA – SOUTH PACIFIC INTER ISLAND FERRY AND SHIPPING SERVICE

 

 

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MV LIAHONA – SOUTH PACIFIC INTER ISLAND FERRY AND SHIPPING SERVICE

 

 

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MV LIAHONA – SOUTH PACIFIC INTER ISLAND FERRY AND SHIPPING SERVICE

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POETRY

FIJIAN POETS –  POETS FROM FIJI

What is Life about

by Ahmed Sheik Koya

Is life only about education and learning
Followed by working and earning
Up early to get to work and midnight light burning
Never satisfied but for new stuff yearning

Is it about gathering  possessions abundant
Or are you in training for something more important 
Like living a life of love for God predominant
Like living a life over base passions triumphant
Like living a life over daily sins and wrongs repentant 

If you died today where will you spend eternity 
Will it be with God in the golden city
Will it be in the fires of hell what a pity
Choose carefully as there is only one opportunity 

There is no return from your eternal choice
In heaven you will forever rejoice
In hell the heat the pain the screams and the noise
Jesus calls today listen to his voice
Decide now as at the edge of eternity you poise

Will your short years on earth count
At the end of your life what will it amount
Will you drink living water from the eternal fount
Will you live for Jesus who died on your account

Soon the silver chord broken and you’ll be gone
The curtain between physical and spiritual torn
Loved ones and friends for you will mourn
No more chance to be spiritually reborn 

Decide before you leave the body you adorn
Where will you start your eternal dawn
For temporal pleasures hold not him to scorn
Who on the cross your sins has borne
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In The Beginning

by Ahmed Sheik Koya

In the beginning God created the heavens and earth
And some think it all came by chance, what a big mirth
That life arose by itself from chemical soup and from it birth
Soup formed by unceasing rain on the volcanic hearth
For this theory came when none knew the complexities of life or its worth
Formulated by those who deliberately ignore God's love and incur his wrath
For the advances of science and genetics proclaim this theories dearth

Over the earth His Spirit did brood 
He spoke again and it happened
In His wisdom all well designed and good
Life in all its different kinds rampant
Every part in its place and functioning as it should

Then God formed man by His own hands
In His own image created He him
He gave him control over all the lands
And home in a garden with fruits to the brim
And a companion Eve as satisfied not animal friends

Eat of all fruits but not of wrong and right
The serpent came and Eve did ensnare
Eve saw the fruit was desirous to the sight
For of the enemy's deceit she was not aware
They did eat and to creation brought blight

Can't blame the fruit on the tree but the human pair
Of their nakedness they now became aware
The creation cursed and in despair
So His only beloved Son, God sent to repair
And for himself a holy people prepare

And if all this you know and are aware
Then God wants you with others share
And to really love others and care
And lift them to God in prayer
That all turn from sins and to God everywhere
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Feel my Love

by Balbir Singh

I have lost you once with lots of pain
Now I am in love to win you again.

You are my butterfly and the spark of life
Will love, cherish and celebrate you as you are so nice.

Your cute eye and bright smile
Is the reason for me to reach another success mile.

Loving you is like capturing images of birds in sky
Hope you and me will love each other without being shy.
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Parents

by Balbir Singh

Mums purely care for our life
They are kind and indeed very nice.

Dads protect us from darkness
They wish to bring into our lives brightness.

Be with your parents forever
They will love you forever.
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Creatures know true love

by Balbir Singh

Baby, every-time you try to avoid me

A cute bird sings to make me calm
A naughty cat tires to help me laugh 
A stupid dog barks to divert my mind!!!

Baby, the creatures of all type feel my heart
Love me the way I love you
So creatures continue to have faith in true love!!!
The People Around Me
----------------

The People Around Me

by B S SKY

Things seems to be very clear,
When actually felt it is unclear,
What really seems to be clear,
May never ever be clear for ever.

Your help for others,
May be to be appreciated,
Or taken as what is called,
to be uncounted.

My question is clear,
Why the help for others,
Is sometime never appreciated,
However it is always delivered. 

In response to ethics,
lingers in my mind the answer,
To help others is not to be recognised, 
But it is to be called someone, 
Who can be respected.

To all, continue to help,
Not to to be appreciated by others,
But to be respected by yourself.
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I loved My Life of Bird

by B S SKY

I fly in the sky
I swim in the sea 
I sleep in the night
And in the trees I live

The forest once was my home
That I always cherished
For me and every one
Who lived on this beautiful heaven?

Coming into the flame of fire
Together with my family
Helps me to remember and tell to all
That has caused the dead of all?

Came five days ago
Three to four men
With something in there mind known as the plan
To destroy what was known as our home

Came few men 
After few days
To destroy us all together with the forest
To clear the land

They lighted the fire
They parked some big bulldozers
To clear the trees and removes the stones
After everything is burnt by the flames of the fire

Together with my family
Praying to the god as one
To forgive our sin 
And tell the reason for this everything

Nothing I heard from up
But something from down 
As few men said
For the development, let happen this destruction
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Life is like Music

by John Tora

Life plays us like music
she plays it right
we sing it a nice lyric
she plays its wrong
we sing a sad song
some goes to the top
some never stop, getting dropped
BUT LIFE IS LIKE MUSIC
hip hop, rock, pop and reggae 
we put it together
we get a song on a Sunday
BUT LIFE IS LIKE MUSIC
many plays it so nice
you know they making charts
better be-careful people
before it drives you nuts
some pop till they dropp 
they never get back up
next thing you know
they selling rocks 
to climb back to the top
BUT LIFE IS LIKE MUSIC  
so if you know got a nice tone
sing it and never look back
cause life gives you one sheet
make music and make everyone clap.
--------------


Believe

by John Tora

Life is a struggle 
life is a pain
money is needed
to cover you from the rain
from west to east i travel
north to south i look too
no one can safe me now 
only life with all its clue
riddle me this, riddle me that
life is a big riddle
so riddle on that
never count life out
or you will suffer 
the only way up
is life making you tougher
pain, tears and struggle
are all part of life's plan
stand up like a solder
and take it like man
you can say this
you can say that
at the end of the day
life will still win
what do you say to that
air is what we need 
to keep life going 
so never stop breathing
but take it in slowly
life is an ascent 
so keep it while you have it
believe in your self
and always say I MAKE IT HAPPEN! ! !
---------------

Catching Smoke

by Kai Viti

I lost you a long time ago
That explains this to and fro
Your heart was never mine to begin with
This is why I'm going to leave
One foot in and the other out
I knew it but I hid my doubts
At the start I kept my joy in a little box
Then you told me to show you everything I've got
The box opened with such character
You decided that that wasn't what you were after
I fought to perfect what was once set in gold
I cried to keep whatever I could hold
I got on my knees a couple of times
But nothing could ever make you mine
I lost you when I got you
That is the sad and obvious truth
-------------

Changing Tides

by Kai Viti

Listen to the man because he is always right
Don’t you dare talk back or put up a fight
Hear his voice and hear him out
But you little woman have no voice…even if you shout
Sit on the floor and serve me please
Then bath, clothe and feed the kids
Keep the house in order and family in line
Thank you for that my dutiful wife
I, the man, big and strong
Will provide for my family come summer or storm
I will head and protect them because that’s how it is
It’s the status quo; she listens and I lead
However, we are finding out that change is inevitable
And this time the tables are turning on our culture, roles and people
Globalisation, westernisation and human rights
Has put our archaic norms in a losing fight
My children and I now have different meanings of life
And our beliefs and values are no longer in line
The winds of reform are definitely in our homes
Where it will take us…nobody knows.
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PHOTOS AND VIDEOS:
LEONARD EPSTEIN
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