ABOUT 500 people flocked to Matawalu Village outside Lautoka yesterday to witness the traditional installation of their new chief, Adi Laisani Namosimalua.
The 73-year-old Marama na Taukei Bukuya succeeded to the title after the death of her elder brother, Ratu Aporosa Nawaidranu, in December last year.
According to her grand-nephew Jone Rasi, she is the seventh holder of the title and the third female to ascend to the position.
"She was the next in line and the last of her generation" Mr Rasi said.
Adi Laisani expressed her gratitude to her people for their faith in her despite being a female and widow, as men were usually preferred ahead of women.
She emphasised that her approach towards her role would be a "give and take" and called on her people for their support in situations where she may not be able to meet certain expectations. Close relatives from her mother's village of Vitogo, Lautoka were among the scores of well-wishers who marked the occasion with feasting and merry-making.
Adi Laisani has six children and hails from the chiefly yavusa of Bukuya.
The installation ceremony was overseen by sauturaga Jonetani Rawaqa, their traditional king-maker.