Also known as: Fijian, I-Taukei

Considerable cultural and linguistic variation exists within the Fiji Island, but the principal linguistic and cultural divide is between East and West. The area in which Eastern Fijian dialects are spoken consists of all of Fiji except the western half of the main island Viti Levu. Fiji is often noted for its mixture of typically Polynesian and Melanesian physical and cultural features, which has led to a range of theories about the origin and history of the Fijian peoples.

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Traditional Culture(1830-1855)Expand All +
Belief +

Supernatural Beings

Nature Spirits Present, and a major focus of supernatural practice (Source)
Waterhouse (1997), pp. 288
Nature god(s) Present, and a major focus of supernatural practice (Source)
Waterhouse (1997), pp. 264-266
Scarr (1984), pp. 17
Ancestral spirits Present, but not a major focus of supernatural practice (Source)
Waterhouse (1997), pp. 250, 286-287
Scarr (1984), pp. 4
Deified ancestor(s) Present, and a major focus of supernatural practice (Source)
Scarr (1984), pp. 3, 5
Waterhouse (1997), pp. 250, 285-287
God(s) Present, and a major focus of supernatural practice (Source)
Derrick (1950), pp. 10-12
Waterhouse (1997), pp. 250-266

Supernatural Punishment

Supernatural punishment for impiety Present (Source)
Deane (1921), pp. 25, 33, 42, 45

Afterlife and Creation

One's actions while living can affect the nature of one's afterlife One factor in determining one's afterlife (Source)
Waterhouse (1997), pp. 295-296
The actions of others after one has died can affect the nature of one's afterlife One factor in determining one's afterlife (Source)
Waterhouse (1997), pp. 294-296
Whitman (1950), pp. 62
Myth of humanity’s creation Present, and evolutionary (Source)
Reed & Hames (1967), pp. 13-15
Primordial pair Absent (Source)
Waterhouse (1997), pp. 250-251
Reed & Hames (1967), pp. 13-15
Culture hero(es) Present, and a major focus of supernatural practice (Source)
Deane (1921), pp. 45-46, 47-57

General Features

Forces of nature are controlled by or imbued with the supernatural Present (Source)
Deane (1921), pp. 64
Waterhouse (1997), pp. 250-251, 267

Classes of Tapu

Kinship tapu Present (Source)
Thomson (1908), pp. 183
Waterhouse (1997), pp. 217
Resource management tapu Present (Source)
Quain (1948), pp. 369, 427-428
Social hierarchy tapu Present (Source)
Waterhouse (1997), pp. 65
Quain (1948), pp. 195

Mana

Mana as a personal quality Absent (Source)
Keesing (1984), pp. 143
Tomlinson (2006), pp. 74-76
Mana related to social influence or technical skill Present (Source)
Mana as a spiritual or religious concept Present (Source)
Keesing (1984), pp. 143
Tomlinson (2006), pp. 74-75
Practice +

General Supernatural Practices

Headhunting Absent (Source)
Waterhouse (1997), pp. 207-302
Scarr (1984), pp. 1-9
Costly sacrifices and offerings Present (Source)
Thomson (1908), pp. 103, 161
Waterhouse (1997), pp. 229
Size of largest ritual social group Larger than a local community, no larger than the largest political community in the culture (Source)
Scarr (1984), pp. 4
Thomson (1908), pp. 159
Political and religious differentiation Some overlap (Source)
Waterhouse (1997), pp. 289
Thomson (1908), pp. 158-159

Rites

Piercing Present in culture, but not as a rite or feature of a rite (Source)
Williams & Calvert (1859), pp. 126
Genital cutting Present in the culture as a rite or feature of a rite (Source)
Waterhouse (1997), pp. 241
Quain (1948), pp. 315
Scarification Absent from culture (Source)
Williams & Calvert (1859), pp. 125-127
Tattooing Present in the culture as a rite or feature of a rite (Source)
Williams & Calvert (1859), pp. 126-127
Quain (1948), pp. 315
Tooth pulling Absent from culture (Source)
Williams & Calvert (1859), pp. 25-27
Social Environment +
Population 90000 (Source)
McArthur (1967), pp. 3-11, 7
Ethnologue (Map of Fiji) (2014)
Google Maps (2014)
Population of largest political community 10,000-99,999 (Source)
Scarr (1984), pp. 6-7
Routledge (1991), pp. 22
Importance of Patrilateral descent Medium (Source)
Marck (2008), pp. 362-363
Importance of Matrilateral descent Medium (Source)
Marck (2008), pp. 362-363
Kinship system Iroquois (Source)
Routledge (1991), pp. 23
Polygamy Full polygyny (Source)
Routledge (1991), pp. 23
Marital residence Patrilocal or virilocal - with husband's kin (Source)
Routledge (1991), pp. 23

Conflict

Conflict within communities High (Source)
Scarr (1984), pp. 4-5
Sahlins (2004), pp. 198, 214-215
Conflict between communities of the culture Frequent, occurring at least yearly (Source)
Derrick (1950), pp. 48-52
Scarr (1984), pp. 7
Conflict with other cultures Occasional, at least every generation (Source)
Scarr (1984), pp. 3-9, 21-27
Cultural Isolation +
Contact with other cultures Frequent, through trade, warfare, travel, etc. (Source)
Ethnologue (Map of Fiji) (2014)
Scarr (1984), pp. 2, 10
Distance to closest landmass inhabited by a different culture (km) 0.0 (Source)
Ethnologue (Map of Fiji) (2014)
Distance to African or Asian mainland (km) 7810.2 (Source)
Ethnologue (Map of Fiji) (2014)
Daft Logic Distance Calculator (2014)
Pre-Austronesian population Absent: No evidence of human occupation prior to Austronesian settlement (Source)
Bellwood (1995), pp. 109
Hindu / Buddhist influence on supernatural belief No evidence of influence and not in region of known contact (Source)
Cribb (2000), pp. Map 2.21
Islamic influence on supernatural belief No evidence of influence and not in region of known contact (Source)
Cribb (2000), pp. Map 2.23
Christian influence on supernatural belief No evidence of influence but in a region where contact is likely (Source)
Scarr (1984), pp. 9, 13-14
Waterhouse (1997), pp. 16-17
Subsistence and Economy +

Land-based means of subsistence

Animal husbandry as a source of food Medium (Source)
Field (2004), pp. 81
Quain (1948), pp. 144
Land-based hunting performed by individuals Medium (Source)
Quain (1948), pp. 149-150
Field (2004), pp. 81
Land-based gathering Medium (Source)
Quain (1948), pp. 142-143
Waterhouse (1997), pp. 212
Land-based hunting performed by one or more groups Medium (Source)
Field (2004), pp. 81
Quain (1948), pp. 144
Agriculture / Horticulture Principal (Source)
Waterhouse (1997), pp. 212
Field (2004), pp. 81

Water-based means of subsistence

Fishing and water-based hunting performed by one or more groups Major (Source)
Quain (1948), pp. 150-151
Fishing and water-based hunting performed by individuals Major (Source)
Quain (1948), pp. 150-151
Water-based gathering Major (Source)
Quain (1948), pp. 150-151

Commercial Activity

Trade / wage labour as a source of food Medium (Source)
Quain (1948), pp. 151
Metalworking Absent (Source)
Levinson (1996), pp. 3
Physical Environment +

Geographical Range of Culture

Number of islands inhabited by culture Four or more (Source)
Ethnologue (Map of Fiji) (2014)

Features of Island with Largest Culture Population

Latitude -18.0 (Source)
Ethnologue (Map of Fiji) (2014)
Google Maps (2014)
Longitude 178.6 (Source)
Ethnologue (Map of Fiji) (2014)
Google Maps (2014)
Island type (island with largest culture population or largest island if unknown) Tectonic (Source)
Evenhuis & Bickel (2005), pp. 5
Island Size (km²) 10429.0 (Source)
Encyclopaedia Britannica (Viti Levu) (2014)
Maximum elevation (meters) 1324.0 (Source)
Encyclopaedia Britannica (Viti Levu) (2014)
Post Contact History(1855-2014)Expand All +
Religious History +

Conversion

Role of social status in conversion process Primarily a top-down process. (Source)
Ryle (2005), pp. 63-65
Scarr (1984), pp. 14, 25-27
Use of force in conversion Medium (Source)
Scarr (1984), pp. 21-27
Resident missionary involvement in conversion process Present, and from non-Austronesian societies (Source)
Scarr (1984), pp. 13-14, 21-25
Thornley (1979), pp. 294-295
Fijian Census (1996), pp. 36
Adoption of a world religion Present and predominant (Source)
Fijian Census (1996), pp. 36
Scarr (1984), pp. 13-14

Syncretic Movements

Syncretic religious movements Present, but did not survive to the present-day (Source)
Scarr (1984), pp. 92-95
Kaplan (1995), pp. 98-122
Fijian Census (1996), pp. 36
Secular History +

Demographic and Social Changes

Foreign government systems Present, and of high importance (Source)
Scarr (1984), pp. 70-75, 168-171
Srebnik (2002), pp. 190
Fraenkel (2013), pp. 328
Immigration High (Source)
McArthur (1967), pp. 11-13
Mayer (1973), pp. 1-3
Newland (2013), pp. 229
Fiji Bureau of Statistics (2012), pp. Table 1.2A
Language shift Low (Source)
Geraghty (2001), pp. 48
Foreign education systems High (Source)
Gounder et al (2009), pp. 140

Economic Changes

Changes in means of subsistence High (Source)
Reddy (2011), pp. 192
Exportation of goods to other cultures Present but minor (Source)
Reddy (2011), pp. 192
Scarr (1984), pp. 95-100

Modern Infrastructure

Vehicles and roads Present and widely used (Source)
Encyclopaedia Britannica (Fiji) (2014)
Air travel Present and long-distance (Source)
Central Intelligence Agency (Fiji) (2014)
Scheyvens & Russell (2012), pp. 5-6
Sea port Present (Source)
National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (2009), pp. 174

Loss of Autonomy

Nature of loss of autonomy Partly voluntary (Source)
Scarr (1984), pp. 51-57, 61-63, 66-76
Loss of political autonoomy High (Source)
Scarr (1984), pp. 70-75, 168-171
Srebnik (2002), pp. 190
Fraenkel (2013), pp. 328
Current Culture(2014)Expand All +
Belief +

Religious Demographics

Unofficial religious syncretism Medium (Source)
Tomlinson (2006), pp. 177, 182
Institutional religious syncretism Medium (Source)
Ryle (2005), pp. 63-66
Tomlinson (2006), pp. 177
Dominant world religion Christianity (Source)
Fijian Census (1996), pp. 36
Fiji Bureau of Statistics (2012), pp. 12
External Links
References
Bellwood, P. (1995). Austronesian Prehistory in Southeast Asia: Homeland, Expansion and Transformation. P. Bellwood, J.J. Fox, & D. Tryon (Eds.), The Austronesians: Historical and Comparative Perspectives (pp 113-114). Canberra, Australia: ANU Press.

Blevins, J. (2008). Some Comparative Notes on Proto-Oceanic *Mana: Inside and Outside the Austronesian Family. Oceanic Linguistics, 47 (2), 253-274. Retrieved from http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/ol/summary/v047/47.2.blevins.html

Blust, R. (2007). Proto-Oceanic *Mana Revisited. Oceanic Linguistics, 46(2), 404-423. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/20172322

Central Intelligence Agency (2014). The World Factbook: Fiji. Retrieved from https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/fj.html

Cribb, R. (2000). Historical atlas of Indonesia. Surrey, UK: Curzon Press.

Daft Logic Distance Calculator. (2014). http://www.daftlogic.com/projects-google-maps-distance-calculator.htm.

Deane, W. (1921). Fijian Society, or the Sociology and Psychology of the Fijians. London: MacMillan & Co.

Derrick, R. A. (1950). A History of Fiji. Suva: Government Press.

Encyclopaedia Britannica (Fiji). (2014). In Encyclopaedia Britannica. Retrieved from http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/206686/Fiji

Encyclopaedia Britannica (Rotuma). (2014). In Encyclopaedia Britannica. Retrieved from http://www.britannica.com/place/Rotuma-Island

Encyclopaedia Britannica (Viti Levu). (2014). In Encyclopaedia Britannica. Retrieved from http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/631231/Viti-Levu

Encyclopaedia Britannica (Yasawa Group). (2015). In Encyclopaedia Britannica. Retrieved from http://www.britannica.com/place/Yasawa-Group

Ethnologue (2014). Map of Fiji. Ethnologue. Retrieved from http://www.ethnologue.com/map/FJ

Evenhuis, N. L. & Bickel, N. J. (Eds.) (2005). Fiji Arthropods I. Bishop Museum Occasional Papers, 82, 3-25.

Field, J. S. (2004). Environmental and Climatic Considerations: A Hypothesis for Conflict and the Emergence of Social Complexity in Fijian Prehistory. Journal of Anthropological Archaeology, 23, 79-99. DOI: 10.1016/j.jaa.2003.12.004.

Fiji Census 2012 - NEED PROPER REFERENCE

Fiji [map]. (2015). Paul, L. M., Simons, G. F., & Fennig, C. D. (eds.). Ethnologue: languages of the world, eighteenth edition. Retrieved from http://www.ethnologue.com/map/FJ

Fraenkel, J. (2013). The Origins of Military Autonomy in Fiji: A Tale of Three Coups. Australian Journal of International Affairs, 67 (3), 327-341. DOI: 10.1080/10357718.2013.788125

Geraghty, P. (2001). Literacy and the Media in the Fiji Islands. Pacific Journalism Review, 11 (1), 48-57.

Google Maps (2014). Retrieved from maps.google.com

Gounder, N., Reddy, M., & Prasad, B. C. (2009). Support for Democracy in the Fiji Islands: Does Schooling Matter? International Journal of Social Economics, 37 (2), 136-149. DOI: 10.1108/03068291011007255

Kaplan, M. (1995). Neither Cargo Nor Cult: Ritual Politics and the Colonial Imagination in Fiji. London: Duke University Press.

Keesing, R. M. (1984). Rethinking "mana". Journal of Anthropological Research, 40(1), 137-156, http://www.jstor.org/stable/3629696.

Kuhlken, R. (2002). Intensive agricultural landscapes of Oceania. Journal of Cultural Geography, 19(2), 161-195.

Levinson, D. (1996). Culture Summary: Lau Fijians. New Haven, Conn.: HRAF. Retrieved from http://ehrafworldcultures.yale.edu/document?id=oq06-000

Marck, J. (2008). Proto-Oceanic Society was Matrilineal. The Journal of the Polynesian Society, 117 (4), 345-382. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/20707458

Mayer, A. C. (1973). Peasants in the Pacific: a Study of Fiji Indian Rural Society (2nd Ed.). Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.

McArthur, N. (1967). Island Populations of the Pacific. Canberra, Australia: ANU Press.

NEED PROPER REFERENCE

National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (2009). World Port Index Nineteenth Edition. Bethesda, MD: National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency

Newland, L. (2013). Imagining Nationhood: Narratives of Belonging and the Question of a Christian State in Fiji. Global Change, Peace and Security, 25 (2), 227-242. DOI: 10.1080/14781158.2013.78424

Quain, B. (1948). Fijian Village. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.

Reddy, M. (2011). Challenging Democracy: Ethnicity in Postcolonial Fiji and Trinidad, Nationalism and Ethnic Politics, 17 (2), 182-202, DOI: 10.1080/13537113.2011.575314

Reed, A.W., Hames, I. (1967). Myths and Legends of Fiji and Rotuma. Auckland: Reed Publishing.

Routledge, D. (1991). Bau. In Hockings, P. (Ed.), Encyclopaedia of World Cultures (Volume II: Oceania). New York: G.K. Hall & Co.

Ryle, J. (2005). Roots of Land and Church: The Christian State Debate in Fiji. International Journal for the Study of the Christian Church, 5 (1), 58-78. DOI: 10.1080/14742250500078071.

Sahlins, M. (2004). Apologies to Thucydides: Understanding History as Culture and Vice Versa. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.

Scarr, D. (1984). Fiji: A Short History. Sydney: George Allen and Unwin.

Scheyvens, R. & Russell, M. (2012). Tourism, Land Tenure and Poverty Alleviation in Fiji. Tourism Geographies: An International Journal of Tourism Space, Place and Environment, 14 (1), 1-25. DOI: 10.1080/14616688.2011.593188

Srebrnik, H. (2002). Ethnicity, Religion and the Issue of Aboriginality in a Small Island State: Why Does Fiji Flounder? The Round Table: The Commonwealth Journal of International Affairs, 91 (364), 187-201. DOI: 10.1080/00358530220134879

Thomson, B. (1908). The Fijians: A Study in the Decay of Custom. London, England: William Heinemann.

Thornley, A. W. (1979). 'Heretics and Papists': Wesleyan-Roman Catholic Rivalry in Fiji, 1844-1903. Journal of Religious History, 10 (3), 294-312. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9809.1979.tb00423.x

Tomlinson, M. (2006). Retheorizing Mana: Bible Translation and Discourse of Loss in Fiji. Oceania, 76 (2), 173-185. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/40332021

Waterhouse, J. (1997). The King and People of Fiji. Auckland, NZ: Pasifika Press. (Originally published 1866).

Whitman, N. H. (1950). Interpretation of Fiji Customs. Journal of Social Psychology, 31 (1), pp 39-67. DOI: 10.1080/00224545.1950.9918994

Williams, T. & Calvert, J. (1859). Fiji and the Fijians. NY: D. Appleton and Company.