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Fiji Time: 4:22 PM on Saturday 19 April

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Villagers begin traditional funeral preparations

Repeka Nasiko
Tuesday, December 10, 2013

TRADITIONAL preparations for the late Tui Tavua, Ratu Jale Waisale Kuwe Ratu, are in progress at Tavua Village.

Yesterday the village men and women were dressed in black as a mark of mourning for the chief who died on November 30 at the age of 70.

The vanua o Bila is expecting mourners to come from as far as Bau and Nadroga in the days leading up to the funeral on Saturday.

Laisenia Caucau, a spokesman from the chiefly household, said the vanua had just completed sending traditional delegations to all confederacies to inform them of Ratu Jale's passing.

"We've gone to all of the heads of provinces and confederacies to inform them of the late Tui Tavua's death and these include Na Gone Marama Bale, Na Roko Tui Dreketi Ro Teimumu Kepa and we've also gone to the head of government Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama," he said.

"There were also delegations that went to Cuvu Village, Bau, Nadi and the confederacy of Kubuna which will bury the late Tui Tavua."

He said Ratu Jale's body would leave Suva Private Hospital on Friday morning on its final journey to Tavua Village.

"The vanua has decided that his body will spend one night at his traditional home here in Tavua before the funeral begins at 10am on Saturday."

He added the i reguregu at the chiefly village will begin today.

"The final delegation to pay their final respects will be from government, led by the Prime Minister.

"They will arrive on Saturday before the funeral."