John's Beekeeping Notebook
Fiji's Land and People (page
Fijian Gatherings and
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.
There is no
way to convey the complexity of fijian culture on these pages, so I will explain a few
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
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
The creation of a new village was
cause to celebrate with a traditional war dance and a feast (right and below).
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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