Monday, June 27, 2011

100 Skull & Bones Dug Up on Waya in Yasawa

Fiji Times News

100-skull nightmare

by Maciu Malo
Monday, June 27, 2011
MORE than 100 skulls and bones were found buried at Natawa Village in Waya, Yasawa, last week.
The mystery find has shocked villagers who are still dumbfounded about the origin of the bones and skulls.
Villager Keni Nalesu, 55, said he was digging the foundation of his newly-built home when he came upon the skulls and bones.
He also showed The Fiji Times and a policeman, who was at the village, a piece of wood which he said was from a boat that was buried at the village foreshore.
"This is mystery to us," said Mr Nalesu.
"No one in the village knows about the history of these bones and skulls and all we can understand is the bones could be linked to the boat that is buried at the foreshore.
"I was shocked and frightened when I first saw many skulls and the bones buried here.
"By the look of the skulls and bones I can say it was from huge men."
Mr Nailesu said he had sleepness night when he removed the skulls from its actual burial place.
"After removing the skulls to bury them at another location, I dreamt a huge man telling me to bury the skull properly. The next morning I rushed to the place where I buried the skulls and buried them properly.
"The find also made me to move my house from its original place."
Unfortunately, Mr Nailesu was frightened to dig up the skulls and the bones to have pictures taken.
He says the proper authorities should visit the island and investigate this mysterious find. Mr Nailesu said there had been many strange events happening in the village during the past years.
He said in 2005 more than 100 cows mysteriously disappeared from the village in a single day and until today no evidence of the cows has been found.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Ancient tales of Cannibals and Conquest

Fiji Sun News


Written By : Jim Eagles. Fiji’s islands boast a rich history and curious traditions, writes Jim Eagles.

We were bouncing through a choppy sea round the shores of Naigani Island when the boatman slowed down, pointed and said: “That’s the cannibal cave.”

Eh? I could see a large opening that stood out darkly against the cliff. But what was its connection to cannibals?

“It’s where the i-taukeis used to cook and eat people in the old days,” said the boatman. “The inside is black with the smoke from their cooking fires.”

I heard more about the cannibal cave when I arrived at Naigani Island Resort, a relaxed, old-fashioned sort of place and the only resort on this island, which lies about an hour by car and 45 minutes by boat from Suva.

During a chat over a beer with the half-dozen other guests before the resort’s weekly barbecue – the grilled fish is superb – one Australian couple mentioned they had walked to the cave that day.

“[It’s] not very nice,” said the husband. “The walls are covered in soot from the fires where they cooked people. I didn’t stay long. I got bad vibes from the place.”

I didn’t make it to the cave myself to check its vibes. But, as you find with all the 110-odd inhabited islands which make up the Fijian archipelago, the tale of the cannibal cave is typical of the traditions associated with most local landmarks.

This is, after all, a place which has been inhabited by humans for much longer than New Zealand. On Naigani, when the resort was extended in 1981 the excavations uncovered Lapita pottery dating back 2500 years.

The highest point on Naigani is occupied by an ancient fort, Wailevu. Visit the island’s sole village and you’ll almost certainly hear the saga of how 150 years ago the great warlord Seru Apenisa Cakobau, who tried to conquer the whole of Fiji, was unable to overcome the fortress and so resorted to treachery to lure the local people from their sanctuary.
He slaughtered the lot – except for three young men.

The trio jumped into the sea from the highest cliff on the island and made their way to the island of Verata, where they settled and took wives. When the tribal wars were over, the three men and their families returned to re-settle Naigani.

The most beautiful beach on the island, known as Sacred Bay, carries other traditions.
People fishing there are not allowed to use lines or spears, only basket nets, and any trevalli caught have to be cooked whole and their bones returned to the bay before midnight.

“Then,” said Ili Satoqi, the resort sales manager, “the bones turn back into trevalli.”

An American couple who had snorkled there agreed that Sacred Bay was a special place. “There are huge schools of sardines,” said the wife, “and lots of trevalli which almost seem to be guarding them. When you swim there the trevalli swim right up at you in a challenging way … I’ve never experienced anything like it.” 

* Jim Eagles visited Naigani Island as a guest of Tourism Fiji.