Tuesday, 14 June 2011

The final tribal war of 'Lovoni' on 'Ovalau' island, Fiji.

The Tikina of Lovoni is made up of the villages of Lovoni, Nasaumatua, Vuni-ivi-savu, Visoto, Nukutocia and Nacobo. The latter three villages are located on the coast of Ovalau.
Various myths and legends attribute the Lovoni people to different origins. It is believed that they were the first settlers of the island having migrated from mainland Vitilevu to settle Ovalau. Popular beliefs link them to the High Chiefdom of Verata and inevitably to the Nakauvadra epic. The founding ancestor of the Lovoni is popularly referred to as Rakavono, nephew to the mythical founder of the Bureta people, Bui Savulu, daughter of Lutunasobasoba.
At the time of European contact, written sources refer to this group of people as the predominant rulers of Ovalau. They were responsible for torching the settlement of Levuka, at least twice, causing a dispersal of its early European settlers to Savusavu. They were an independent Fijian Kingdom with kinship ties to the Roko Tui Bau, the people of Verata, Wainibuka and Naitasiri. Their allies within the Lomaiviti group lay with the Tora ni Bau of Batiki. They also had strong ties with the people of Bua and Cakaudrove. To the east, they had extensive ties and allies with the Yasayasa Moala and Ono-i-Lau. Their ties to the west of Fiji were direct kinship ties with the noblehouse of the Tui Nadi.
The Lovoni people, being an independent kingdom with several strategic tributaries, ensured their role as mercenaries of war in the central Fijian province of Lomaiviti, which at the time of European contact, was undergoing a major power struggle between the Noble Houses of Verata and their ally and kin the House of the Roko Tui Bau and the rising power of the Vunivalu of Bau. This period also saw the growing power of the Tongans influx to the east of Fiji, the rise of Rewa and its tributaries and the presence of the Europeans and their efficient firearms. The Lovoni people found themselves in the center of this major conflict and power struggle and often played the determining role of supporting whichever side suited them best, based on kinship ties. Their unfailing support of the ailing and declining house of the Roko Tui Bau and his descendants would mark the fate of this fiercely independent and proud people.
This power of Lovoni was brought down by the army of the 'Dritabua' or 'Naloto' tribe at Cakobau's request. The priests of 'Naloto', the 'Rara' Clan led the war using their fan ascending steep rocky hills and fanning away the rolling stones of the people of Lovoni in their pursuit. Lovoni was conquered finally by the strong warriors of 'Naloto', the descendants of 'Komai Uluitova'.

10 comments:

  1. The Lovoni People were not brought down by the army of Naloto. They were conquered only through deception:

    "Some of it I knew but what I had not heard or was not told in school, they told me at Lovoni and I was almost moved to tears at how the people of Lovoni were treated a long time ago.

    It is history the historians did not include when they were writing the history of Fiji.

    It is the story of a tribe of people - warriors and rebels by nature who were only conquered by Cakobau through the vere vakabau - deception - and imprisoned and treated as prisoners of war by the most inhuman of ways and paraded around Levuka town as barbarians.

    To lay to waste the village of Lovoni so that the kai Lovoni would never be a threat to Cakobau again, the captured people of Lovoni were sold to slavery to rich planters around the country out of Ovalau.

    The people of Lovoni were segregated so that there would never be a Lovoni again but several escaped from Levuka and spent the next year in the hills of Ovalau until they went back and rebuilt their village.

    The kai Lovoni were sent away to different parts of Fiji but they did not forget what they did to them.

    That is why, the Tui Wailevu said that every year they hold a Lovoni Day to commemorate the day and year their ancestors were tricked by Cakobau using the church to fool the people and lure them to a feast at Levuka town to mark the end of hostilities.

    It was at Levuka that the Lovoni people were told to lay their arms by the rock at Levukavakaviti and then they were surrounded and captured and put in chains.

    They were beaten and made to carry big stones on their backs and crawl through Levuka town as punishment.

    Then they were scattered throughout Fiji.
    **SOURCE: http://www.fijitimes.com/story.aspx?id=167096

    They Lovoni people were sold into slavery and descendants have been found as far away as Queensland, on cotton farms. They were documented many years later in enquiries into practices known as 'Blackbirding' in Australia.
    Some Fijian artifacts including a 'cannibal fork' have been found as far away as America in a travelling circus and traced back to LOVONI, where they were sold into slavery for amusement because they were dwarfs.
    Many men, women & children were rounded up and forced into caves, where they were dynamited as a method of efficient eradication of the remaining LOVONI people.

    It is worth noting that slavery was abolished at this time, yet the Slavery Of the LOVONI people was allowed to take place by the Europeans under British law and then hidden from history and from historic archives.

    We are the Kai LOVONI people, We are many and we know the Truth of where we came from and of what was done to us.

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    Replies
    1. Bula Tevita... I am researching wild Senitoa in Fiji and interested in making contact with kai Lovoni who may know where these still grow in the mountains between Lovoni and Levuka....vinaka any information Lex.Thomson@gmail.com

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  2. Vere vaka Bau still exist amongst us today.

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  3. we the Lovoni people was not defeated by any tribes in fiji.....

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  4. we the Lovoni people was not defeated by any tribes in fiji.....

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  5. From what I heard from the Naloto Turaga ni Koro that The descendants of "Komai Uluitova" ran away before the Lovoni people even attacked them. Sadly, Cakobau was embarassed when he heard about what the "Komai Uluitova" people had done and decided not to send this clan of people again to war as they might embarassed him again.

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  6. THAT STORIES TOTALLY A FALSE STORY AND A LIE I AM A KAI LOVONI WHO RAISED FROM THE VILLAGE UNTIL I GOT INTO MY TERTIARY LEVEL EDUCATION WHEREBY I HAVE TO WENT OUT OF THE VILLAGE....A STORY THAT MY GREAT GRAND FATHER COME TO MY GRAND FATHER TO MY FATHER SAID THAT WE A THE KAI LOVONI WAS NOT DEFEATED BY ANY OTHER TRIBE UNTIL CAKOBAU USED THE CHRISTIANITY TO MAKE MY PEOPLE A SLAVERY WHAT KIND OF STORY IS THAT...BETTER CHANGE THAT STORY ........

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  7. Im the descendant of that vere vaka bau - deception - and imprisoned and treated as prisoners of war by the most inhuman of ways and paraded around Levuka town as barbarians.....My great great grandmother was sold to Mr. Fredrick Mitchell of Qamea - May She rest in Peace - She was the daughter of the Tui Wailevu of Lovoni

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