Fiji History

The history of Fiji is founded in scientific findings, myths, and legends. Fijian culture and of course Fijian history must begin at the beginning which would be found in the various legends of the Fijian people. There are two main legends explaining the history of Fiji Islands or at least how it all began. One is that of Degei the Snake God whom only had one friend and that was Turukawa the hawk. To shorten the legend just a tad, Turukawa laid two eggs and from them came forth two humans. Degei cared for the humans until one day the male human finally noticed the maiden human on the other side of the tree. This was the beginning of humans of the Fiji Islands. On the other hand, another legend depicts an entirely different tale. In this legend, the great chief Lutunasobasoba brought his people across the seas to the new land, which was the Fiji Islands. Either way, ancient pottery items dating back to about 1000 BC has been earthed on the various islands of Fiji helping to recreate Fijian history and of course Fijian culture.

The first explorer that has been noted in Fiji Islands history was Abel Tasman who was a Dutch explorer searching for the Great Southern continent. While he traveled, he happened upon the Fiji Islands in 1643. Fiji history lets us know that European traders and missionaries made their way to the Fiji Islands in the early 19th century, which brought about many wars between the Fijian confederacies. Chief Ratu Cakobau conquered over the western islands sometime in the 1850's. This, however, did not stop the battles until 1874 when Cakobau and other chiefs ceded Fiji without any conditions to the British. The influx of so many Europeans wishing to call the area home brought about this major change in the history of the Fiji Islands. After the British gained control, Fiji Islands history began to emerge in a totally different direction. In 1874, under British rule, the islands were transformed into a colony. At this time, Indian contract laborers added to the history of Fiji as the British brought the laborers to the islands.

Independence came to the Fiji Islands on August 10, 1970, which was a large milestone not only in Fiji history but a major change in the overall Fijian culture. Throughout the readings of the history of Fiji Islands, this era is marked by being governed by the Indo-Fijian community or the Indian community that grew over time due to the laborers brought to the islands by the British.

Once again, trouble was in the brewing. Fiji Islands history, in 1987, had unrest again with military coups. This brought about a democratic setup. At this time, the history of the Fiji Islands saw a major change as a non-executive president took over for the Governor and the British monarchy. At this time in Fiji history, the Fiji Islands known as Dominion of Fiji was changed to the Republic of Fiji. In 1997, the name was changed once again to the name we all know today, Republic of the Fiji Islands.

A few more military coups have occurred throughout the years. However, in 2001 a democratically elected government was put in place. Fijian history has throughout the years seen many countries and chiefs wanting to be in power. Today, Fiji is a great vacation location that offers a calm and relaxing atmosphere in a tropical and paradise setting.

The best historical sights in Fiji are home on the Coral Coast where you will find the Sigatoka Sandunes. If you take a tour, the guide will be able to point out ancient settlements along with quite a bit of Lapita pottery sherds poking out of the sand. Also on the Coral Coast just across the river from Taveuni is a living village with authentic thatch homes. You will enjoy not only the historical village but the locals will provide a delectable lovo lunch which will be prepared in an overground oven.

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