Fiji's Family Network
It may have ended up that way since the the Navosa highlanders are familiar with their territory. However, Maafu had made headways into many parts of Vanua Levu (almost half of the whole territory) as well as other parts of Viti Levu. From a military perspective, this was a very bad strategy. Maafu had stretched his forces too thin due to geography. The local militias would have easily destroyed them. But Maafu's strategy had been to made alliance with local chiefs and give them them control of the new gained terrritories and have them pledged loyalty to Maafu. But we are talking about loyalty or honor among thieves, which there is none. Maafu's forces had a bad reputation of using extreme violence and night ambush to beat the enemies. During this period, the mindset in Fiji's population was, the night belongs to the ghosts of the dead. Therefore, they were unwilling to go out and fight at night. Not that they were cowards, but they respect the souls of their loved ones and not to offend them as they are wandering at night. This was extracted from the early misssionaries's writings, who brought Christianity to Fiji. Remember, many of these early missionaries were in Tonga before they came to Fiji. Many of them seek protection from Maafu and his forces.
I personally believe one of the reasons why Maafu was successful early on was his destruction of Moala Island during one of his raids on behalf of his allies. According to ancient Fijians folklores, Moala Island is where the spirits of chiefs rest before they go to Bulotu. The belief of the time was, no unworthy person will set foot in Moala because of its chiefly residents. So, Moala was extremely restricted, even to chiefs. When Maafu raided Moala and came out unharmed, he was almost seen as superhuman since the spirits in Moala couldn't harm him. Today, we know better.
Putting emotions aside, there are claims that
Tongan influence in Fiji is more through trade then through conquest. Taveuni was rich in the red parrot feathers, then you have the Vesi Tree for canoes. Stone axes found throughout teh Eastern Pacific were from Samoa. It is usuualy joked in VanuaLevu who are tauvus to Vanuabalavu, how Wainiqolo ran for his life in the veidogo. Maafu uses trickery, and also uses the fragmented Fijian society to gain ground, but even if he conquers it wud still be a small land mass, a fraction that.
If you dig deeper into the names of the islands of the Lau group, you can see Maafu was just trying to reclaim what was taken from Them. The Lau group were Polynesia originally but got taken over by The occupants from the West.
If you delve even deeper into Polynesia place names, words like Fenua-kura, Iti Nui, Pulotu, Atafu, Laepa, Patea, Tikopia, Anuta.. etc, they have their origions in Fiji. Why did they leave in teh first place.
Deeper still the Samoans say that the Tongans is the people cross bred from Fijians and Samoans. The Warriors of Burotu, intermarrying with the Women of Manu'a. As we all know interbreeding produces a sibling combining the best from both stocks. The Tongans went ot to be Pacific Conquers..
The sources we use in discussions like this are usually either from books or anecdotal evidences such as oral histories or folklores. As we analyse them, we try to connect them with assumptions due to lack of accurate writings and histories. We are trying to discuss something that happened 150 years ago. I try to look at it without involving my emotions so I can understand it. Maafu would have never succeeded in his quest to rule Fiji. The parameters and the political circumstances of the time were too narrow for him. However, for sake of this discussion, these are factuals: First, Maafu was a pain in the rear end for many chiefs in Fiji. He used terror as his primary tactic. Wainiqolo and others from his force were part of that terror network. The chiefs who joined Maafu for convenience and at the expense of their nemesis, were also participating in this terror network. This pushed Maafu's reputation before his forces even set foot on any village. Second, Fiji's geography was too huge for command and control. Any attempt to control the chiefs throughout Fiji would have been impossible. Maafu may have seen it and decided on his path of building coalition with those who want to terminate their rivalries. Third, the expansion of other foreign influences (British colonial expansion and American merchants) left Maafu with little incentive to be a menace. Before his last quest after 1860, Maafu signed an agreement with the British consul, he will not make any attempt to conquer Fiji. The British man-of-wars (naval battle ships and their cannons) were no match to Maafu's sticks and rocks. Maafu saw first hand the destruction of cannons when he was in Tonga. Remember, Maafu went to the Lau Group as the governor for the Tongan population who are in that area. The intermarriage between Tongans and Fijians were commonly practiced during that time. I am a product of the intermarriage from that period. The early missionaries and British diplomats wrote about some of these in their journals. One wrote about how the Tongans became opportunists among Fijians. The chiefs ask them for assistance in their fight against their rivalries. In return, the Tongans stayed around long after the battles just to be fed and taken care of by their hosts. The Tongans burned their welcome mats and their Fijian hosts at times wished they were never invited.
Enough of Maafu for now.
You mentioned other islands to include Tikopia and Anuta. According to Raymond Firth, the first anthropologists to write about Tikopia and Anuta, the natives claim their origins to be Tongan. As a Tongan, I could understand most of their written language, based on my association with my Tongan language. On the other hand, I have no clue what I am looking at when I read the Fijian language. Just a thought.
Yes, some of those names may have been of Fijian origins. One of the disadvantages we are trying to navigate through is the non-existence of written records prior to Christian missionaries’ contacts. Therefore, we use anecdotal evidences such as oral stories and name association to paint a picture of what may have happened. One thing I know for sure, migration was constant despite the vast distance and ocean between island countries.
In the case of Anuta, its young history (about 300 plus years) point to its current settlers as Tongans led by a chief named Kaulave or Kaurave. The second group of settlers were from Uvea led by a chief named Taupale or Taupare. Their customs and cultures are clearly of Tonag origin. By reviewing the Anutans family structures and kinship, majority of their names are clearly Tongan. For example, this is a small comparison in words for family members both in Anuta and Tongan. These terms are in Anuta language.
Tamai (father) - both in Anuta and Tongan
Pae (mother) - in Tonga it is Fae
Makitanga - in Tongan it is mehikitanga
Tama (child) both in Anuta and Tongan
Tuatina (uncle) - in Tongan it is tuasina
Mokopuna (grandchild) both in Anuta and Tongan
Tamatapu (sisters’s child) both in Anuta and in Tongan
Iramutu (sister’s child) in Tongan it is ilamutu
The similarities in cultures and languages makes me feel at home in Anuta although I have not set foot there.
That being said, I agree with you for there has to be a reason why and where they got their names from. The previous settlers may have been from Fiji. But, I have not come across any of the Anuta’s oral histories that mention any Viti stories.
Tikopia on the other hand is a blended mix. Their language although have some similarities with Anuta, the presence of other Melanesian and Australain aborigines influence is more visible. But, there are few Tonga influences in their cultures and customs. For example, their Mako kailau (war dance with paddles) is of Tongan origin. Tikopians do not remember when it was started but they were told it had been passed down through generations. The most spectacular dance of the Tikopians is the Mori. One of the mori is the “mori fakatonga”. The Tikopians only know this dance was passed down from previous generations. In Tonga, moli is an old term for dancing. In the Tongan language, the letter “r” and “l” are pronounced the same way due to simplification of the Tongan alphabet. There only 16 letters in the Tongan alphabet. Certain letters are combined when spoken. For example, the letters “b” and “p” are the same. Such as “d” and “t”; “r” and “l”; “s”, “j” and “z” are spoken the same. This change was implemented in the 1940s by the Tonga Government’s Ministry of Education.
Finally, this is an old Tikopia song to remind them of those Tongans invaders that came in their war canoes:
Iri pu e ta a nga Tonga
Tefea tefea te fenua tauvia
Kua ta te nafa i te moana
Kua sopo ko Pipi ki nga uta
You may be right, but based on language and cultural reflections, there may be more to a place than a name. I’m just saying………..
YOU SAID IT WELL... :)
The Fijian word for war ships is "manua" most likely a carry ova from the name of war canoes. Manu'a is Samoa rite?
Those fragments of linguistic occurrence and place names sure says much of the history that went un recorded. Happy Sunday@
bula vinaka David...the Tui Pelehake and his warriors were already securing lands here in the Nadroga Province way before the arrival of Maafu,yes he fought battles and conquered but his battles were only within the Tovata Confederacy which consist of Lau Groups and Vanua Levu...the braveheart warrriors were the highlanders or the KAI COLO...their province were the COLO EAST,COLO NORTH AND COLO WEST and that is Fiji's Mainland.
Aisake Kuriwara - The Battle of Kaba in 1855 was probably one of the biggest battles in Fiji's history between Bau and Rewa or as the historians wrote - between Tongans warriors and the Rewans coalition put together by all heathen Chiefs who did not want to be Christian ... The battle was won before it started - how easy it was for the Vavau warriors to win the battle against the best Fiji offered at that time supported by some white settlers with guns. These Tongans - 2000 of them all in over 30 canoes - must be huge canoes to carry the lot over to Kaba - were led by their King and Ma'afu. When it comes to roasting - this too is not a monopoly reserved the highlanders ... have a read of the book A History of Fiji by RA Derrick ... these lot were quite good to the point if it was not for the Poms - would have extended their influence all the way to New Hebrides