The first Fijian settlers arrived in the country about eight thousand years ago from south east Asia and a second migration brought Polynesians to the country about five thousand years later. These ancient settlers were a barbaric race and have been documented as being cannibals who engaged in horrific localised warfare. As well as the more gruesome traits, they were also skilled craftsmen and evidence of this can be seen in the surviving artefacts which can be found in museums throughout the country today.
Europeans first made it to the islands in 1643, but they didn’t actually make contact with the natives until over one hundred years later in 1789 following the Mutiny of the Bounty. In the century that followed a combination of war, trade and friendships developed between the two groups but in 1874 the king at the time decided he’d had enough of the endless conflict and ceded his kingdom to Britain. Fiji didn’t regain its independence until 1970. Today there are almost eight hundred thousand people living in Fiji, half of which are indigenous Fijians and half of which are of Indian, European or Chinese origin.
Despite the fact that the country has undergone many cultural transformations, Fiji still preserves a fascinating variety of traditional customs and crafts including the Yaqona Drinking Ceremony, the Tabua Ceremony which involves the presentation of the whale’s tooth, turtle calling, firewalking and tapa beating. And, alongside this unique human history is the natural beauty of the Fijian landscape. A combination of blue lagoons, lush rainforests and panoramic hill top views ensure that your visit to Fiji will be something you will remember forever.