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John's Beekeeping Notebook

Fiji's Land and People (page 3)

Fijian Gatherings and Ceremony

Fijian villages are great places.  One's worth is measured more by one's contributions and generosity than by the wealth one retains. There are no taxes.  No home mortgage.  No insurance payments.  The aged are respected.  The culture is rich.   Nothing brings this out more than the traditional ceremonies held for weddings, funerals, and other inter-village gatherings.

The gifts are presented with a moving speech.There is no way to convey the complexity of fijian culture on these pages, so I will explain a few photographs. 

The man at right is presenting baskets of food and a whale's tooth (tabua) to the nearby village where his wife was raised.  They had several children, and he is thanking her village.  This strengthens the bond between the two villages.

The women, especially, seem to enjoy village gatherings.  These women prepare to give a gift of many yards of cloth material to the village they are visiting as part of the same ceremony described above.

Traditional gifts include livestock, coconut oil, yaqona (kava), dalo, other foodstuffs, and tabua, of course.  Kerosene and cloth are also common gifts.

Old wars were typically fought with clubs and spears.The creation of a new village was cause to celebrate with a traditional war dance and a feast (right and below).The older people had interesting stories about wars in the old days. 



The Fijian meke has some similarity to the Hawaiin houla.Everyone had a great time.  The women and a few men performed a meke (story-songs).

I will always treasure my experiences and friends in Fiji.

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