i. I-Taukei lived a life regularly threatened by war.
ii. I-Taukei were busy tending animals, fishing, ceremonies and domestic chores each day.
iii. Agriculture was very important.
iv. They used wet-field methods to grow taro and protected the soil by leaving fields fallow.
v. Practice of sacrifice - for ceremonial and spiritual reasons; people were used as rollers to launch huge war canoes or buried in the postholes of new buildings.
vi. Practice of barter system.
EVIDENCE OF THE PAST
• Old structures such as forts and ditches
• Customs passed down through the generations
• Messages in the forms of ceremonies, rituals, songs, myths, chants, body decorations, house carvings, “masi” patterns
• The shape of sail
• Hand and body movements in dances
• Stories passed down through generations
• Diaries and letters of Europeans who saw Fiji before it was affected by western habits, goods and ideas
• Photographs (after1840)
EUROPEAN DISCOVERY OF FIJI
(Note: Students, under this topic you will have to paste the table diagram given on the European Explorers of Fiji.)
Activity: (Answer the following questions after going through the notes)
i. What was the daily lifestyle during the pre-contact period?
ii. Why was the need for social structure in the Early Fijian Societies?
iii. Who was the first- European explorer to visit Fiji?
EARLY EUROPEAN CONTACT
1. The Sandalwood trade
Europeans first came to Fiji in large numbers in search of sandalwood.
A profitable trade in sandalwood could be found in China and India as they were used for religious articles and scent.
It was highly priced in Asia and buyers would pay high price for it.
1800 OLIVER SLATER
1800 – Olive Slater discovered sandalwood at Bua Bay.
- Was picked up by the ship El Plumier ( was sailing to Manila in the Philippines)
1804 – Slater found a market for sandalwood & passed on the news to Simeon Lord, the owner of the schooner, Marcia.
1805 – First cargo of Sandalwood from Fiji
1808 – 1809 Sandalwood trade reached its peak
1813 – Very little sandalwood left and traders turned their attention to beach- de-mer.
1830s – Bech –de-mer trade reached its height.
ITEMS USED FOR TRADE BY EUROPEANS FOR SANDALWOOD
• Iron hoops and bars
• Fishing hooks
EFFECTS OF THE SANDALWOOD TRADE
i. Brought in a source of wealth ( items brought in the Europeans)
ii. I-Taukei were eager to sell their sandalwood for the traders, “tabua”, iron, goods and tools
iii. Jealousy among other chiefs without access to traders and European goods.
EFFECTS ON ECONOMIC LIFESTYLE
• New western items were traded in the exchange of goods by the tribes.
• These new items brought other benefits to Fiji.
• Fijians became exposed to European diseases such as measles and the common cold.
• Men were away from their village a long time cutting trees and loading them on trader’s ships.
• Fijians started to get jobs on board the trader’s ships like temporary pilots, cooks and translators.
• Woman had to make do while men were away from the village
Beachcombers were such men as shipwrecked sailors, runaway convicts and ship deserters.
They brought with them not only their immoral ways of life, but also firearms and alcohol thus more serious changes were brought by these people which influenced the Fijian way of life.
REASONS FOR ESCAPING FROM SHIPS
• To escape poor conditions on board
• Low wages
• Severe punishment
EFFECTS OF BEACHCOMBERS
They lived with Fijians and also brought them new ideas of Western Technology, including fire arm sled led to the change in the communal lifestyles because these people lived with the Fijians.
They settled and married in villages.
They fought amongst themselves
CHARLES SAVAGE: 1808 (A Beachcomber)
Beachcomber who survived a shipwreck and found his way to Bau.
Savage took a supply of muskets and ammunition from the wreck
Bau was then able to conquer its rivals and establish itself as one of the most powerful links in Fiji.
With his ability to speak both Tongan and Fijian made him become accepted as the Vunivalu of Bau’s Whiteman
The whaling era in the Pacific lasted from 1789 – 1860.
It was dominated by Whalers from the New England coast of North America.
By 1840 there were 700 American whaling ships in the Pacific. They provided employment for the people in the Pacific.
Even though Fiji was a long distance from the whaling areas, it established a small whaling settlement using the sheltered harbor at Levuka by 1830.
The Rotumans obtained whales teeth from the whalers and used them for trading with i-Taukei during inter – island voyages
4. BECHE – DE-MER (a.k.a. TREPANG OR HOLITHURIUM)
(Are sea cucumbers [marine animals] which is eaten by people)
Bech de mer trading became popular in Fiji after sandalwood trade.
It was a thriving activity to many Fijian villages and many villagers decided to live their village and move to areas where work is provided.
The activity had a great impact to the villagers and at the same time interrupted their village organization.
IMPACT OF BECHE DE MER
Many decided to live near the bech –de –mer station. It meant an increase in some Fijians. (People escaped from village / community work)
Led to increasing competition between Vanua and Matanitu for access to bech-de-mer station.
Change in communal lifestyles because temporary villages were started near trading stations.
Concentration on getting bech-de-mer and neglecting daily task.
The first missionaries to reach Fiji were two Tahitians, Hanea and Atai of the London Missionary Society(LMS).
After being driven out of Lakeba, they established themselves in Oneata in 1830 and soon built a small group of converts.
UNITED STATES EXPLORING EXPEDITION
In 1840, an American expedition of (four) 4 ships arrived in Fiji, Led by Commodore Wilkes carrying out expedition work in the Pacific and included many scientists and artist and a language expert.
It was called the USXX – the United States Exploring Expedition.
In the three months which they spent in Fiji waters, the Americans produced the first reasonably complete chart of the Fiji.
An agreement was made between Wilkes and Tanoa of Bau
• Tanoa and other chiefs agreed to give protection to foreign ships and to supply them with water and provisions.
• Crews of wrecked ships were to be protected
• Alcohol was not to be brought ashore
• Deserters were to be captured and returned to their ships
• No seamen were to remain ashore after nine o’clock in the evening.
• Ships were required to pay three dollars for port charges and seven dollars for a pilot’s services.
EUROPEAN PLANTERS AND SETTLERS
• Permanent settlers in Fiji after 1860 became involved more directly with Fijian life and Politics (they wanted land and labour for their plantations and settled government which would give them a firm title to their land as well as protection).
• Most Europeans arrived in Fiji in 1860s as there was the boom in cotton prices (a.k.a the GREAT FIJI RUSH). Fiji’s climate and cheap land attracted settlers and planters.
• In between 1860 – 1871, the numbers increased from 30 to 2760.
REASONS FOR COMING TO FIJI
• Attracted many who had failed to make good on the goldfields of Australia and New Zealand or in the towns of the colonies
• Some saw an opportunity to make their fortune by investing money in Fiji (as a result, the Polynesian company was formed comprising of Europeans and Settlers who invested in Fiji). They bought men to run shops and other services so Levuka then Suva sprang up as pioneer towns.
• 1868 – 1871 – Levuka changed from a village for i-Taukei to a European style town. It served both as a business centre for Fiji and a place to which Europeans came for social and cultural events.
• Wooden houses were built and proper furniture was brought in.
• Fijians were not included in activities as before, and the gap between the two races grew.
WILKINSON & THURSTON
• These two planters saw the only way to maintain a stable society was for the Europeans and Fijians to trust each other and work together.
• They tried to create a government with both Fijian and European members.
• Land was sold to the Europeans by the i-Taukei in many parts of Fiji.
• At times, the same piece of land was sold many times and this caused a lot of disputes over titles.
• Sometimes chiefs sold land belonging to another tribe in order to attract the white settlers to the area and obtain the protection of his guns.
• As a result, the settler could then find himself attacked by the real owner and could often get driven off the land in dispute.
• Labour was needed for the plantations and this led to the LABOUR TRAFFIC where labourers were shipped from other Pacific Islands and Melanesian Islands (often against their will) to work in plantations.
• The two new groups were from Kiribati (then called Gilbert Islands) and the Solomon Islands.
(i) Example of Timeline
1860 Permanent settlements started by Europeans.
1860 - 1871 Most Europeans arrived in Fiji in 1860s as there was the boom in cotton prices (a.k.a the GREAT FIJI RUSH).
1868 – 1871 Levuka changed from a village for i-Taukei to a European style town. It served both as a business centre for Fiji and a place to which Europeans came for social and cultural events
THE RISE OF MA’AFU AND CAKOBAU
• In 1829 – Tanoa (Naulivou’s sons) succeeded his father’s title.
• Bau controlled the coastal areas and by 1830, the Island Kingdom of Cakobau became the most powerful in Fiji.
• Bau became powerful because of;
o Intermarriages between Bauan chiefs and chiefly families of neighbouring Vanua, especially Rewa and Cakaudrove.
o The increasing number of Vasu to Bau
o Bau’s influence spread and its huge canoes enabled Bau to intervene in disputes and carry out raids along the northern and western coasts of Viti Levu and in Lomaiviti.
• In 1837, Cakobau remained the real power in Bau (Tanoa was old and weak). Cakobau restored his father’s power.
• Tanoa died in 1852 and was succeeded by his son, Seru who took the name Cakobau.
• In 1847 – Ma’afu (King Taufa Aha’u in Tonga) came to Fiji in an expedition to Vanua Balavu to investigate the killing of a preacher..
• He was the Protector of Wesleyan missionaries and he too Vanua Balavu by force after the murder of 17 Wesleyan converts.
• Ma’afu power stretched from Lakeba to Yasawa, Beqa and Kadavu, Bua and
• He became a threat to Cakobau because of his growing power.
• 1843 – Cakobau succeded in capturing Rewa and placing his own King, Cokanauto, in charge of the captured part. He could not seize the Rewan chief, Qaraniqio, who had fled to the hills.
• 1852 – Cakobau went to Macuata to fight Ritova who had refused to recognize Bauan claims; he stripped Ratu Mara Kapaiwai (a great grandson of Tui Nayau) of his canoe to make him less powerful.
• Ratu Mara had good terms with the Europeans at Levuka who blamed Cakobau for the attacks by Lovoni tribesmen on Levuka. At the same time, the Ovalau tribes revolted.
• 1854 – Cokanauto died, Qaraniqio returned, recaptured Rewa, and held off all Cakobau’s attempts to win it back.
• On the same year, Cakobau was so downcast that he was persuaded to accept Christianity and to renounce his old heathen beliefs.
• This led to further trouble for many of the allies who, disliking Christianity, went over to the enemy.
• 1855 – Qaraniqio died and the Rewan chiefs, tired of war, sought peace. Cakobau agreed but rebel Bauans at Kaba disagreed.
• Led by Mara they opposed Cakobau’s conversion to Christianity.
• This resulted to the Battle of Kaba which was seen as a victory for Christianity over heathenism, a victory which led to a series of mass conversions of Fijians to Christianity.
• The battle was won by the unorthodox tactics of the Tongans. They insisted on charging at a time when the normal tactics would be to and thus made the enemy confused.
• The Bauan Kingdom became the leading kingdom of Fiji.