Back in history: Marriage between two kingdoms

Tui Sabeto Ratu Kaliova Lumuni MAtaitoga and his wife to be Adi Josephine Nabure Nalasi Gavidi. Picture: File

Marriage between two kingdoms ensures stability, while at the same time strengthens relations between the two parties.

According to a report in The Fiji Times on January 21, 1982, this was exactly what happened when Tui Sabeto, Ratu Kaliova Mataitoga, 29, and Adi Josephine Nabure Nalasi Gavidi, 22, of Cuvu, Nadroga, strengthened blood ties between the two vanua (kingdoms) in the West, ties that could be traced back to days before the Deed of Cession (1874).

Ratu Kaliova of Sabeto near Nadi belonged to the ancient Fijian Kingdom known as Beteraurau and Adi Bure (as she is known by) to the Kingdom of Nakuruvarua.

The marriage between the two was an arranged one.

It was held at Sabeto Village.

Sabeto Village elder Petaia Bogi said the traditional marriage proposal was held the previous year.

“This is the first time that a Tui Sabeto is to get married after he has been installed as chief,” Mr Bogi said.

“A delegation from Sabeto travelled to Cuvu to ask for the hand of Adi Bure from the chief,” Ratu Kaliova said.

He said after the elders from Cuvu consented, preparations were made for the elaborate wedding.

Ratu Kaliova was installed as Tui Sabeto in December 1980, following the death his brother, Ratu Josaia Nabuka Tavatava.

The marriage at Sabeto was attended by more than 1000 people from provinces in the West.

The president of the Methodist Church in Fiji, Rev Inoke Nabulivou, performed Ratu Kaliova and Adi Bure’s marriage ceremony in the village church.

Mr Bogi said the last marriage between the two families was “many years” before, when the grandparents of the newlyweds, Adi Inise Nalu, from Sabeto and Ratu Wame Gavidi were married.

Adi Bure was the daughter Ratu Wame’s youngest son, Ratu Osea Nalasi Gavidi.

She was a niece of independent parliamentarian Ratu Osea Gavidi and was from the chiefly household of Vatunitawake.

Guests at the marriage ceremony included Ratu Osea, the Tui Vuda and Minister of State for Forests, Ratu Josaia Tavaiqa, and other chiefs.

Ratu Kaliova and Adi Bure spent four days inside the chiefly house at Sabeto in accordance with a traditional Fijian after-wedding custom.

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