Could Ratu Asesela’s descendants be out there?

Ratu Asesela (pictured far left) in a photo dated in the early 1900s. Picture: SUPPLIED

COULD it be possible that Ratu Asesela Robanakadavu, the Fijian chief who journeyed all the way to the Canadian Arctic in the 1800s, leave behind direct descendants among the Inuit or Eskimo people of the Northwest Territories of Canada?

At least that’s what his relatives in Fiji think as they strive to piece together his life.

They believe his descendants may still be out there, that they know about their Fijian heritage, but may not know where to look.

This is compounded by the fact that on On March 3, 1967, The Fiji Times ran an article about the shocking discovery of Inuits or Eskimos who claimed they were descended from Fijian men who lived among them.

The Fiji Times article revealed that descendants of Fijian men were living in Tuktoyaktuk in the North West of Canada sometime during the mid to late 1800s.

The men were said to have been forced to join a whaling ship that was operating outside Fiji waters.

These men began to adapt to the lifestyle of the Eskimos, intermarrying and making a life for themselves.

The article based this story on an interview with the author Lucien Ben Burman, who met the descendants in 1962.

If this story is true, then there could be stories of other Fijian men who were similarly working and eking out a living in the Arctic-like Ratu Asesela.

And if he did have living descendants today, then imagine the closure this would bring for his relatives who still hold on to some semblance of hope.

Read more on this story in today’s The Sunday Times and also on our e-Edition.

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