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June 2011 Blog Posts (7)

On Fiji Islands -- Suva-- Chapter 2.18



Mokani: houses of dapboard with tin roofs, though some have walls of split bamboo woven in chevron patterns. Splashes of colour show between the dark-green shade of mango and breadfruit and the light green of the tended lawn. The wooden houses are paintedred, blue, ochre,…

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Added by Robert F. Kay on June 30, 2011 at 10:00pm — No Comments

On Fiji Islands -- Suva-- Chapter 2.17

"You heard about the tinned mackerel scare, did you? People started dying from that damned Jap mackerel. Instead of the government taking it all off the market and burying it, what they should've done, Japs came over and said, 'Oh, ha, velly solly. We'll take it all back and destroy it. No…

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Added by Robert F. Kay on June 27, 2011 at 9:56pm — No Comments

On Fiji Islands -- Suva-- Chapter 2.16



The drua had two hulls of unequal size, over which was laid a deck equipped with a collapsible house. The mast, stepped in the middle of the deck, carried a lateen sail of pandanus mat. Steering was done by trailing oars of vesi wood up to twenty feet in length. The largest canoe seen by Thomas Williams (c. 1850) had the following dimensions: length of main hull, 118 feet; deck, 50 feet by 24; mast, 68 feet high with 90-foot yards. She…

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Added by Robert F. Kay on June 22, 2011 at 10:30pm — No Comments

On Fiji Islands -- Suva-- Chapter 2.15



Victims were most often cooked in earth ovens (lovo) made of hot stones among which the meat and vegetables were buried. A wild "spinach"-botanical name Solanum anthropophagorum-was deemed essential to avoid the constipating properties of human flesh; and yes, the latter was sometimes figuratively called vuaka balavu, "long pig."



The reasons behind Fijian cannibalism…

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Added by Robert F. Kay on June 19, 2011 at 10:52pm — No Comments

On Fiji Islands -- Suva-- Chapter 2.14



Some scholars have tried to blame the worst excesses of Fijian warfare-amply documented in early accounts-on the introduction of European weapons. It is true that pitched battles between Fijians armed only with clubs and spears produced relatively few casualties, mainly because the warriors were so, adept at dodging, but whenever a rout occurred or a fortified town was breached the carnage was probably just as bad before 1800 as…

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Added by Robert F. Kay on June 11, 2011 at 10:00pm — No Comments

On Fiji Islands -- Suva-- Chapter 2.13

Resting at the bottom of a display case filled with various belongings of King Cakobau is his throwing club. It has a bulbous business end shaped like a fluted squash and a handle some eighteen inches long; the smooth black wood is finely inlaid with ivory stars 'and crescent…

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Added by Robert F. Kay on June 8, 2011 at 12:13am — No Comments

On Fiji Islands -- Suva-- Chapter 2.12



Slater came back with an old schooner which he filled with fifteen tons of sandalwood in return for a few broken cutlasses. He had to transfer the precious cargo to a larger ship in Australia. The word got out. It may sound odd to speak of a "wood rush," but that is exactly what happened. Ship after ship set sail for the "Can­nibal Isles"; the profits made were enormous. One loaded 250 tons of sandalwood-worth £20,000 inChina-for trade…

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Added by Robert F. Kay on June 3, 2011 at 10:00pm — No Comments

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