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From Verata to Naduru

Luke Rawalai
Sunday, February 04, 2018

TO know one's origins is very important in iTaukei communities, or any other for that matter, because it shapes and determines a person's status and rank in society.

Naduru Village elder Ratu Aminisitai Degei says their origins are well known to them and recorded down by the iTaukei Lands Commission.

Ratu Aminisitai said the people of Naduru had their origins in Verata, Tailevu as the descendants of the early settlers who came through the tualeita or the pathways along the mountain ridges of Ra.

"We do now know why they came to where we are today but we are thankful to God for revealing this place to the elders because it is our paradise on earth," he said.

"War, famine and other challenges have come to Naduru but we have remained as a people to this day.

"Our origins are known to us and we know our traditional ties to the 14 provinces in the country.

"After all, the iTaukei people are all related for we are all the descendants of great seamen who journeyed across the oceans in canoes in search of new land."


As the traditional seat of power for the chieftains of the district of Dogotuki, the people of Naduru trace themselves back to Verata in Tailevu.

According to history passed down in the reigning Tui Vuna clan their ancestor or vu, literally meaning origin, is Kura who sailed to Vuniveata in Tawake on his boat the Kaunitoni.

Oral history reveals that from Vuniveata, he journeyed up north through the interior until he came to the coast and settled at present day Naduru.

Ratu Aminisitai says Kura married a woman there who bore him five children.

"We do not know where the woman came from, whether she was already here or whether he had brought the woman along with him but we are told that when he settled in Naduru he married a woman who bore him children," he said.

"The five children were; Lase, Ligova, Mudute, Dunaleka and Bolaitamana who grew up and resided in Naduru, Sauniyalewa, Nakase, Dawamona and Nawi.

"These were the origins of the five clans that made up the village of Naduru.

"As is the practice in the days of old these five clans were then conferred their traditional duties.

"The people of Naduru were appointed as traditional leaders, Sauniyalewa were appointed as warriors, those of Nakase as heralds, and the people of Nawi and Dawamona as warriors."

Ratu Aminisitai said, Lase led the people when they settled at Naduru.

"When Lase passed away, Munamuna took over from him as leader and he in turn was replaced by Railoa," he said.


"During Railoa's time he had presented whales' teeth to the people of Vitina, a neighbouring village, to aid him in a war against their kingsmen of the Naisogolaca who were starting to influence the various clans at Naduru.

"At that time Naisogolaca was led by a chief called Tamaisari.

"Naisogolaca was defeated in war and their leader killed during the war."

Ratu Aminisitai said the members of the defeated clan then fled to Naruru living years of peace in Naduru.

"When Railoa died, his son Ravaga was installed to replace him and he was the first traditionally installed chief bearing the title of Tui Vuna," he said.

"However he never drank the traditional installation cup of yaqona because of the commotion that followed his installation.

"During this commotion the people of the Sauniyalewa clan decided to go their own way.

"When all had settled, Tagituba the son of Tamaisari came along the way on his way to his mother's people in Raviravi when he was stopped by the people of Naduru."

Ratu Aminisitai said the people of Naduru stopped Tagituba from progressing to his mother's village before they informed him of the real instigators of his father's death.

"So Tagituba was given a piece of land and a woman for his wife," he said.

"Tagituba had a son with his wife who was called Drakalevu and this boy succeeded Ravaga as the new leader of Naduru.

The reign of Drakalevu

Being an ambitious young chief, Drakalevu had an objective of unifying the whole of northern Macuata beginning from Udu.

Ratu Aminisitai said Drakalevu had moved the village from Naduru to Tokaleka as he complained about the water and scarcity of food in the area.

"Drakalevu was slain during the war against the Dokanaisuva clan of Udu," he said.

"His body was later returned and interred at Tokaleka.

"After his passing, his cousin Ro Kuro took over from him as chief of the people of Naduru.

"Another commotion rose between the people of the Nakase clan and Ro Kuro after a woman from the clan refused to marry him."

Ratu Aminisitai said, Ro Kuro and his people then surrounded the people of Nakase and waged war on them.

"The two sons of Drakalevu, Koliloa and Bativuaka aided Ro Kuro during the war," he said.

"They seized the village while the people of the Nakase clan fled to Dreketi to find refuge from the wrath of Ro Kuro and his men.

"After some time when peace had been re-established, Ro Kuro ordered for the people of Nakase to return to their former home at Tokaleka where they remained in peace.

"When Ro Kuro died, Koliloa took over from him as leader of the Naduru people."

Ratu Aminisitai said, that Koliloa led the people of Naduru until the Deed of Cession.

* Versions of oral history will differ from accounts of other tribes in regards to the same events etc. It is not our intention to cause division or friction between (related) clans. We just tell their story.

* Next week: Find out why Dogotuki is predominantly Catholic.

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