A SEA of black covered the chiefly village of Cuvu, Nadroga, as the coffin carrying Nadroga's paramount chief Ratu Sakiusa Makutu made its final journey home yesterday.
As the coffin, accompanied by Burebasaga paramount chief Ro Teimumu Kepa reached the village, the heavens opened up followed by a slight drizzle, marking the end of era for the Na Kalevu, Ratu Sakiusa.
Escorting the coffin from hospital to Cuvu Village yesterday were Colonel George Kadavulevu, the grandson of the late Vunivalu, Ratu George Cakobau, grandsons of the late Tui Nayau and president Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara and grandsons of Roko Tui Dreketi Ro Lady Lala Mara. Traditional warriors were unmoved by the drizzle as they guarded their chiefly compound while women in black sat silently inside the chiefly house of Naukuruvarua where the coffin rested for a night.
The vanua of Nakuruvarua has strong links to the chiefly households of Burebasaga, Bau and the Tui Cakau of Lalagavesi.
Burebasaga paramount chief Ro Teimumu is a vasu to the chiefly household of Nakuruvarua while Ratu Sakiusa's grandmother was from the chiefly island of Bau.
The death of this paramount chief also united all traditional chiefs in Fiji who assembled to farewell a great leader.
Among the chiefly households present at the village were the head of Kubuna confederacy Ratu Epenisa Cakobau, the President, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau, Adi Koila Nailatikau, Ro Teimumu Kepa and representatives of the Tui Cakau, Tui Vuda, Taukei Naua of Nadi, the vanua of Nadi, Vitogo, Naitasiri, Tui Tavua, Takalai Gau and Sabeto.
People from all walks of life gathered at the village to show their respects for a great leader who demonstrated love and respect during his 13-year reign as the Na Kalevu.
Cuvu district representative Ratu Tevita Makutu said the death of their paramount chief united people of all races.
The burial will be held at the chiefly burial ground at 11am today.