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Talks on Tui Viti

Luke Rawalai
Tuesday, December 11, 2012

A GROUP of clans around Fiji met last week in Cakaudrove to discuss the position of the Tui Viti which they claim still exists but has never been recognised.

The meeting included members of three tribes from Wailevu, Cakaudrove whose forefathers first settled on Delaiviti, a mountain range in the area.

Joeli Drodrolagi, a member of the sauturaga clan (the kingmaker clan) in Wailevu, Cakaudrove said part of the meeting agenda was the discussion to appoint the rightful holder of the Tui Viti. He said the descendants of the Tui Viti were still alive and belonged to the clan that moved from Delaiviti to Burebasaga.

Mr Drodrolagi said seven traditional clans came from other parts of Fiji while three came from Wailevu District.

"We just want the world to know that the Tui Viti title came from the clan of Noah which is mentioned in the Bible," he said.

"We base our findings on the word of God, not lapita pottery, and other discoveries that man are seeing because God's word will never fail us.

"We also do not believe that the iTaukei community have links to India like what was published in The Fiji Times last week — that conclusion was from some lapita pottery.

"Fiji is a chosen nation by God and the Tui Viti title is part of that. We are descendants of the Israelites, not from India, and the name of our nation Fiji stands for the 'First Israelite Jewish Island'. The name of our nation is not by coincidence but a chosen name given by God."

He said the mountain of Delaiviti in Wailevu West Cakaudrove was the original seat of his ancestors who were three brothers known as the offsprings of Saumaibulu or Lutumailagi. "We have been told by our elders that during the settlement of Fiji by Lutunasobasoba and his people, the new settlers had already witnessed smoke rising from Delaiviti in Wailevu as they toured Vanua Levu which is living proof that our ancestors in Delaiviti had established themselves in Fiji long before the wave of migration arrived.

"We are, therefore, of the lineage of the first people in the Fiji Islands."

The head of the USP's iTaukei Language Department, Paul Geraghty, said the migration stories of Lutunasobasoba traveling to Fiji in a canoe known as the Kaunitoni was fabricated.

"These were stories made up by the early missionaries who taught at Richmond and Navuloa School and believed by native students to be the truth," said Mr Geraghty.

"The position of the Tui Viti is not known however there have been mentions of two iTaukei titles in Tongan and Samoan myths relating to a Tui Viti and the Tui Laucala which may prove the fact that there was a Tui Viti in the olden days."

Attempts to reach the iTaukei Lands and Fisheries Commission were futile.

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