FIJI ISLANDS
 
 
 
 EXPLORATION, SHIPPING, AND TRADE: 1800 - 1840

           

The street chart of the Fiji group was published in London, in 1814, by Arrowsmith. In it, the information recorded by Bligh, Wilson, and other captains, was collated with additional facts gathered chiefly by the sandalwood traders. this chart gave the soundings of the Bua Bay anchorage, but was too late to be of service to the sandalwood ships. the coast from the Lekutu River to Wainunu Bay was fairly well delienated; but the remaining parts of Vanua Levu, being scarcely known, were ill-defined. The majority of the islands of Lau and Lomaiviti were correctly placed, though most was known of those lying to the north-east. The northern end of Kadavu, the south-eastern corner of Viti Levu, the Lautoka coast, and the Yasawa Islands, were indicated - Taveuni was not included, though it had been sighted by Tasman and Wilson, and Captain Berry of the City of Edinburgh had landed at Vuna, on the southern end, in 1809. 

After the departure of the Hunter in 1813, there was a lull in shipping. Two American vessels are kn own to have called in 1819, seeking beche-de-mer, sandalwood and tortoise-shell; and shortly afterwards an epidemic of sickness, known among the Fijians as the vudi coro, made its appearance.

The most contribution to the discovery of Fiji was made by Fabian von Bellinghausen, who had been engaged in exploration along the fringe of the Antarctic. On 18th August, 1820, he sighted two densely-wooded islands, surrounded by wide fringing reefs with heavy surf. these proved to be the southern outposts of the Fiji group. He named them Mihailov Island and Simonow Island, after the astronomer and artist of his expedition; but their native names have survived, and they are named Tuvana-i-ra and Tuvasna-i-colo on the present charts. Land was sighted on the northern horizon and presently proved to be six islands, all gathered within a circular reef with but one boat passage. The Fijian name for the cluster was Ono, meaning the islands. Here Bellinghausen made contact with the natives. His description of them is vivid and accurate; and his published record is embellished with coloured studies made by the ship's artist. The detached reef Vuata Ono (offspring of Ono), a few miles to the south-west, was surveyed and named Bereghis Reef. Henderson  places Bellinghausen equal with Wilson among the discoveries of Fiji, with the comment that Wilson's discoveries were the more numerous and extensive.     

The lull in shipping continued till 1823, when the French ship Coquille (Captain L. l Duperrey) visited Fiji and neighbouring groups, searching for the lost vessels of the La Perouse Expedition. In 1825, Peter Dillon came in the Calder, and revisited his old haunts of Bua Bay to pick u sandalwood, but with small success. Two years later the French commander Dumont d'Urville brought the Austrolabe through the passage between Ogea and Vatoa, and sailed on the deep water of the Koro Sea until he was abreast of Laucala and Taveuni. Here, like Tasman and Wilson before him, he found the seas ahead full of reefs; he turned back, and continued on a southerly course until he sighted Totoya and Matuku. thence he bore west to the south-eastern corner of Viti Levu, where he anchored off Nukulau Island, at the mouth of the Rewa River. After taking on a supply of fresh water he sailed south, and nearly ran his ship on the great reef that envelopes the northern extension of the Kadau group; he did not see the breakers until he was almost upon them, though the reef had already been seen and recorded by Bligh. He named the reef Astrolabe, after his ship, followed it along the south coast of Kadavu, and rounding Mount Washington, steered north-west on the course followed by the Ann and Hope. Passing Vatulele, he sighted the south-western corner of Viti Levu; then, with Malolo in view, he came upon reefs, drew off into clear water, and left the Group. In 1830, d'Urville published the information gained on this voyage. 

The trade in beche-de-mer now began to attract ships, and soon there was as much shipping as in the best years of the sandalwood trade. but the proportion of losses was high. The beche-de-mer ships usually approached Fiji from Tonga; they kept well to the south, and entered through the passage between Oges and Vatoa, which had been used by d'Urville. Vatoa is a low island, easily missed in bad weather, or at night; three miles to the south there is a dangerous reef - Vuata Vatoa - on which the Oeno of Nantucket was lost in 1825, and the whaler Shylock in 1840. Navigation among the hidden reefs was attended with great risks. The Valador of Valparaiso was wrecked on the coast of Bua, in 1828. In August, 1830, the whaler Faun, a Salem brig of 168 tons, was at Waikava, Cakandrove; and in attempting to leave the anchorage she missed stays while in the passage, drifted on to a horn of the reef, and became a total wreck. good weather made the wreck highly profitable to the Waikava natives, for they were able to salvage much of the Faun's gear; and when, some months later, the Glide lost all her anchors and cables during a storm off Ovalau, her captain sent to buy three anchors and two chain cables from them. Early in the following year, however, the Glide was anchored  in the passage between Macuata Island and the mainland of Vanua Levu, loaded and ready to sail, when a hurricane blew up. After dragging her anchors for eight miles, she was blown on to the reef and lost (21st March, 1831). Her crew had not long to wait for rescue; they were picked up to months later by the schooner Harriet of Wallis Island. the same hurricane wrecked the brig Niagara (248 tons) of Salem, in Bau roads, near Viwa. the barque Peru (230 tons), which was well known to the beche-de-mer trade, was also in the Group, but survived the hurricane.

The systematic survey work that was carried out by ships of the royal Navy over a long period of years, and which, indeed, is still going on, was begun in December, 1836, when H.M. brig Victor (Captain Crozier) visited Lakeba to inquire into the murder of four of the crew of the British brig Active. In the previous June, the Active, having taken five missionaries to Tonga, brought supplies and letters to those at Lakeba in returning to Tonga, however, the ship was wrecked on a reef near Moce, within forty miles of Lakeba. All hands were saved, and were unmolested. Four of the men grew tired of waiting at Lakeba; after a few weeks, and despite warnings, they left in a small boat to make their way to Bua Bay, in the hope of meeting with a ship. they had not gone far, however, when they were seen by natives, overtaken, killed and eaten. The captain of the Active managed to get away to Sydney, where he reported the matter; and H.M. brig Victor was sent to investigate and take any necessary action. The Victor reached Lakeba on 1st December, 1838, and the captain held an inquiry; but, though it was admitted that the murderers were on Lakeba, all efforts to secure them were fruitless. they were people from another island, and the chief declared that he could not interfere. The captain agreed with the missio9naries that, under the circumstances, no punitive measures would be taken. Before leaving Fiji, Captain Crozier carried out survey work at Lakeba and in the Moala group, accurately locating the islands in that area. 

In August, 1838, H.M.S. Conway (Captain Bethune) called at Lakeba, from Tonga and later visited the port of Rewa, from where a boat was sent to explore the Rewa river. the party reached an elbow of the river just below the town of Viti. the missionaries Cargill and Jaggar penetrated forty miles up the river, to Naitasiri, in the following year. the visit of Dumont d'Urville, in October, 1838, has already been noted.

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When the rush of sandalwood ships ceased, the beach-combers fell upon evil days. since there were no ships, they were cut off from their own people and forced to exist as best they could. However, the renewed shipping activity of the late 'twenties, and the trade that accompanied it, brought prosperity both to the "old hands" and to new arrivals. The kind of men who, at this period, lived on the beaches of Fiji may best be judged from contemporary descriptions. About 1814, Savage's place at Bau was taken by the motley crew of a Manila ship, who, having mutinied, and murdered the captain, had divided the spoil and settled on the island. Drunken brawls and murderous fights weeded them out until only two or three remained, scattered among the islands. One of the early arrivals was the Irishman, Paddy Connel, known among the natives as Berry, and for more than thirty years a well-known character at Rewa, Levuka, and Batiki. After a chequered career as a soldier in the course of which he was court-martialled for treason, he was sent to New South Wales as a convict; but somehow the plausible Paddy gained his freedom. He worked as a sailor, spent his money on liquor, and finally came to Sandalwood Bay. Liking the place and its ways, he and a few companions left the ship and stayed there. He lived for many years at Rewa, where his Irish wit gained him the unofficial position of court jester to the king. Mistrusted and driven out by the respectable traders at Levuka, he spent his declining years on Batiki, where his chief ambition (so he said) was to raise the number of his children from forty-eight to an even fifty. Oliver Slater, a survivor of the Argo wreck, was not so fortunate. After the busy days of the sandalwood trade were over, he drifted to Levuka; and in 1815, while taking part in a native raid on Makogai, he was killed.

A man of different stamp was David Whippy, an American from New Hampshire, who, as a mere lad, came to Fiji in 1822 on a beche-de-mer ship commanded by his brother. Being badly treated he ran away, and settled on the beach at Levuka. here his industry and steadiness gained him the respect and good-will of whites and chefs alike. He spoke the Fijian language well, was adopted into the local tribe, and held the high and responsible position of Mata-ki-Bau (ambassador to Bau). He became the principal man in the European settlement. Wilkes employed him as interpreter, and reported that he was prudent and trustworthy. Shortly after Wilkes's return to America, Whippy was appointed vice-consul for the United States.

At Bau, beach-combers were not allowed to wear European dress; and the first thing the Nairal natives did to the castaways from the Eliza was to take away their clothes and give them loin-cloths of native bark cloth, such as they wore themselves. As a rule, however, these men were exceedingly well treated by the natives, though the majority of them were both dissolute and unscrupulous. some lived on the bounty of the chiefs, others gathered and cured beche-de-mer, a few engaged in petty trading, most of them, however, mended muskets, cast bullets, told yarns, and hung about at the beck and call of the chiefs. There were, indeed, good men among them, but they were few. some tired of the life on the beaches, and managed to get away again on visiting ships, Most of them stayed; and the longer they stayed the less fitted they were for any other kind of life. In a last effort to maintain some dignity and prestige, a few took up the beche-de-mer trade; for any runaway sailor with a large pot, and able to muster natives to build his houses and dive for beche-de-mer, could go into the business. "during the 'thirties, the trade became the principal medium of contact between Fiji and the outside world. 

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The sea-slugs (Holothuria) variously known as beche-de-mer, trapang, and dri, are found in the tropical waters of the Indian and Pacific Oceans. They were - and are - plentiful on the reefs of Fiji, especially in the shallow and quiet seas that cover the wide reef flats off the leeward coasts of the two large islands. they average about eight inches in length, and are about three inches thick, though some varieties are much larger. All have rough skins, thickly coated with slime. the colour varies from black or grey to dark red; in the Fiji trade, however, the commonest grades were black and red, the black being the more highly prized; nevertheless, even in these there were differences in quality, and the buyer needed some skill and practice to discriminate between them. The valuable kinds, of which there were said to be as six in Fiji, form the chief ingredient of a soup, believed to have great restorative properties and much in demand among the wealthy classes in China. For centuries before the Fiji trade began, Chinese vessels had sought beche-de-mer on the coasts of the Indian Archipelago and New guinea; and when British and American ships began to frequent the south Pacific, the trade extended to New Caledonia, the New Hebrides and other groups. In Fiji, for some time sandalwood was too profitable for captains to concern themselves with collecting and curling beche-de-mer. during the lull that followed the collapse of the sandalwood trade, however, occasional American ships came in search of it; and by 1829 the trade began to gather momentum. In that year three ships - the Glide (306 tons) and the brig Quill (189 tons), both of Salem, and the Morliana of Tahiti - were in Fiji; and in the following April the Clay (259 tons) of Salem arrived. during the 'forties, the trade was at its height, and a number of ships from New England ports made regular voyages. Captains usually hired local cutters, or employed their own boats, to establish and operate stations at suitable points; the ships then cruised from one station to another, collecting the cured "fish". the profits were attractive. One ship got 840 piculs at a cost of 1,200 dollars, and the cargo sold at Manila for 12,600 dollars. the Glide got 500 piculs of beche-de-mer and 300 pounds of tortoise-shell in a little over a month; while on his last voyage, tin 1849, Captain Wallis got a cargo worth nearly 6,000 pounds in about nine months. the articles of trade were similar to those used for the purchase of sandalwood, but reflected the changed conditions among the native people; muskets and ammunition were most desired, but whales' teeth, iron tools, beads and ornaments had their place. the principal market was at Manila, where the cargoes of beche-de-mer were sold to merchants for shipment to China, and the ships took on tea, sugar, and silks, for the homeward voyage.

There was nothing elaborate or costly about the beche-de-mer trader's shore plant and equipment. The necessary buildings were few, and of a kind easily put up by natives, with bush materials. the "fish" were taken by native divers working from canoes, and without any special gear. When they were received from the native collectors, they were weighed and counted, and dumped into large casks filled with sea water, or into pools dug in the sand and having channels communicating with the sea at high tide. In these pools the slime with which the creatures were covered was removed, and they were slit open and cleaned; and, though the intestines contained little but sand and water, the process was responsible for the "ancient and fish-like smell" characteristic of the traders' camps. though exposure to the air had little effect upon the live "fish, when cleaned they had to be cured without delay or they would coalesce into a glutinous mass of which no use could be made. They were taken to the pot house - an open shed with a thatched roof, which housed large iron pots similar to those used by whalers. In these the "fish" were parboiled, in salt water; and for bet results, the boiling was done twice, for about ten minutes each time. They were then removed to the smoke house, called in beach parlance the vala house, which was a long building, of native construction, with an earth floor. It was fitted with two sets of racks or shelves (vala), one on each side, with a passage between. the racks were built of thin sticks and reefs, supported on a framework of poles, and on them the "fish" were laid. Trenches were dug in the earth floor, under the racks, and in these, fires were made with green wood, to provide smoke and heat for curing. The slit "fish" were spread by means of short sticks, to prevent curling, and were smoked for several days, being turned at least once. When properly cured they were hard, of the consistency of sole leather, and would rattle like clips when handled. Thorough curling was necessary if the beche-de-mer was to reach its destination in good condition. 

For building the houses, gathering the beche-de-mer, cutting and carrying firewood, cleaning and handling the "fish" during treatment, and bagging and loading the finished product, a considerable number of native labourers was needed. It was light work, and suited the Fijians well, but the shore processes were messy and exacting, and constant vigilance was necessary to prevent loss from over-heating or fire. the heat of the fires made the reeds and thatch of the vala house as dry as tinder, and little more than a spark was needed to sent the whole plant up in flames and smoke. It was temptingly easy for any native with a grudge against the owner, or with an eye to loot, to put a fire-stick to the wall as he worked, and, taking advantage of the confusion, to make off with the riches of the trade chest. Captain Wallis of the Zotoff, who was deservedly well-liked by the natives, and probably suffered less than other captains, had six houses burnt in seven months; and during the whole period of that one voyage his losses were at least a round dozen. Visiting ships found it convenient to employ the bech-combers as their shore agents; and men who lacked the initiative or the capital to engage in the trade on their own account were glad to earn a little money in this way, for tobacco, arms, and ammunition. Nevertheless, there were occasional difficulties in getting labour, and in 1829 the Glide brought six Maoris from New Zealand to help in the work.

The trade was not without its dangers. The traditional methods of the sandalwood traders died hard; and the means for getting a cargo to which Captain Des Bureaux resorted, and their result, have already been mentioned. Hurricanes and uncharted reefs claimed some of the ships, the Glide and the Niagara for example; but these dangers were insignificant compared with those arising from the covetousness of the native chiefs. In September, 1834, Veidovi, brother of the king of Rewa, piloted the American brig Charles Doggett to Kaadavu. The brig anchored at Ono Island, and the mate landed with most of the crew (some of whom were Tahitians) to work in the vala house of their shore station there. Veidovi and the local chief planned to take the ship for Qaraniqio, another chief of Rewa, each claiming what he could secure of the spoils; and on the morning of 5th September, seeing the crew busily engaged in the vala house, armed Fijians surrounded the building, set fire to it, and clubbed the men as they ran from the flames. Ten men were killed, eight of them being American citizens, one a negro. The mate and a boy had almost reached the ship's boat when they, too, were struck down with the clubs and spears. the men who had remained on the ship brought her cannon to bear on the natives on the beach, who fled to the shelter of a cave, and the ship got under way and was saved. The beach-comber Pasddy Connel was on board, and an eyewitness of all that took place; and he was the chief witness when, six years later, Veklovi was brought to justice.

When the English brig Sir David Ogilby was establishing a depot at Verata, during the late 'thirties, one pot had been landed, the trade chest was on deck ready to lower into the boat, and the anchor had been raised in readiness for getting under way, when a local chief who was standing behind Captain Hutchins felled him with one blow of this club. the natives on deck, and many others who were in canoes alongside, attempted to seize the ship. The crew were driven below, the mate and others being injured. But Captain Hutchins had been in Fiji before, and had taken the precaution of keeping a case of muskets in the fore-top. the man on duty there fired on the astonished natives, and cleared the deck, the attackers jumping overboard and making off. The chief was shot as he sat in state in the captain's cabin, and the crew regained possession of the ship.

In course of time the Fijian chiefs came to realize the value of the beche-de-mer and in 1852, Cakobau attempted to make use of it to pay for a ship which he had ordered. The attempt was unsuccessful, however, and in the end he had to take two ship; loads of his people to New Caledonia, to collect beche-de-mer there. A desultory trade continued during the following twenty years; but in 1879, five years after the cession of Fiji to Great Britain, legislation as enacted to protect the interests of the Fijians against the depredations of visiting ships, and it became illegal to take beche-de-mer without a licence from the Governor. 

In addition to the beche-de-mer ships, whalers frequented certain parts of the Group, especially Tavuki Bay, Kadavu. Whaling among th4e Pacific Islands began about the same time as the sandalwood trade, and was carried on chiefly by ships from Port Jackson and the New England ports of America. The whales made annual migrations from the cold Antarctic seas to tropical waters, for the purpose of breeding. Sperm or Cachalot whales began to appear among the islands about the middle of the year, being most plentiful during August and September; and they returned south in the spring, to feed on the profile surface organisms or plankton, to be found among the breaking ice so the Antarctic. The whalers followed the whales. Before the season opened, ships would visit Tahiti, Tonga, Rotuma, Norfolk Island, or Fiji, to recruit labour and to take on water and provisions; during the winter months they fished off these islands; and in the summer they went south to fish off New Zealand. When the season was over, the ships proceeded to the Bay of Islands or any other convenient anchorage on the New Zealand coast here they took in supplies of pigs, potatoes, fish, wood, and water, and refitted their rigging in preparation for the next season or the homeward voyage.

The teeth of the Cachalot whale, which the whalers had in considerable numbers, were used in Fiji for purposes of barter. After their introduction to Fiji, from Tonga, late in the eighteenth century, they had replaced the ancient form of tabua used in the traditional ceremonies; and the Fijians set a high value upon them. When the Port Jackson ship Nimrod was at Kadava in 1838, the now notorious Vedovi kidnapped the mate and a boat's crew, and held them to ransom. For their release he demanded some large whales' teeth, four axes, two plates, a case of pipes, some fish-hooks and iron pots, and a bale of cloth.

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Shipping and trade brought Fiji under public notice in England, and the accounts given of the condition of the native people attracted the attention of philanthropic societies. Though missionaries had been at work in the Pacific since the closing years of the eighteenth century, it was not till 1825 that any steps were taken to begin work in Fiji. Two Tahitian teachers of the London Missionary Society, Hanea and Atai by name, reached Tonga in 1826, on their way to Fiji. there was no ship to take them farther, however, and they remained in Tonga for four years. Though they made little attempt to learn the Tongan language, their Tahitian speech was sufficiently understood for them to make some progress with their teaching. In 1830, the John Williams brought them to Lakeba; and soon afterwards they went to Oneata, and lived there under the protection of the chief Takai, who had previously visited both Tahiti and Tonga.

The first European missionaries to Fiji, William Cross and David Cargill, landed with their families at Tubou, the chief town on Lakeba, on 12th October, 1835. Tubou was at this time a town of from five to six hundred people. situated about a mile from the shore, it was fortified with a stone wall crowned with a reed fence having apertures for the discharge of arrows and muskets, and was surrounded by a moat from eighty to one hundred feet wide. Here, Tui Nayau made the missionaries welcome, largely owing to the influence of King George of Tonga, whose envoy accompanied the party, bearing presents and a message urging that they should be well received. The missionaries were given houses; but Tui Nayau did not attempt to hide his lack of interest in their doctrine, and for some time they made few converts among the Fijians. They were more successful, however, among the Tongans, who, in parts of Lakeba, outnumbered the natives. Having worked for some time in Tonga, both Cross and Cargill spoke Tongan well; and that language was generally understood, and indeed largely used, on Lakeba. further, during eight months of waiting at Vavau for a ship to take them to Fiji, the missionaries had studied Fijian, and had drafted a system of orthography that enabled them to prepare printed matter. A First Book of four pages, and a portion of St. Matthew's Gospel, had been printed on the press at Vavau, and these the missionaries brought with them to Lakeba. both Fijians and Tongans were willing enough to be taught to read and write, and people of all ages attended the classes, the adults and grey-heads struggling with the mysteries of the alphabet, the children working with avidity and learning more easily. At first the need for books was supplied by means of simple exercises written by hand; but soon this became too laborious. A great advance was made when, at the end of 1838, John Hunt, James Calvert, and Thomas Jaggar arrived, bringing with them a small printing press. this was set up; and in February, 1839, the first book printed in Fiji - a translation of the first part of the Catechism - was put through the press.

When Cross visited Oneata in Febr5uary, 1839, he found the two Tahitian teachers still at work there, and "in good repute". During their six years on Oneata they had gathered about twenty converts to their teaching, but had made no progress with the language. the chief Takai asked Cross to take the teachers under his care; and since they were unable to teach the people to read and write, which the missionaries regarded as essential in order that the portions of Scripture already printed might be regarded as essential in order that the portions of Scripture already printed might be read and understood, another teacher was placed with them. Difficulties arose, but they disappeared when this man was replaced and the three teachers worked together until the Tahitians died, dramatically enough, within four days of each other on 28th April and 2nd May, 1846. Thereafter the work on Oneata was carried on by teachers appointed from Lakeba.

In the meanwhile, fuller knowledge of the language made possible a simplification of the system of orthography that had been adopted at Vavau in 1835. In that system, the roman alphabet - in general use in Western Europe, and for which printers' type was readily available - was adopted. As far as possible the spelling was made phonetic so that, within practical limits, any word might be correctly pronounced at sight. Most of the letters retained approximately their familiar English sounds. Each of the vowels, however, had two values; and, since the sound of a e and the pure sound of g was given the combined sound of ng as in sing. In 1837, Cross simplified this arrangement by adopting single letters to represent the combined sounds of mb as in number, nd as in end, and ngg as ng in younger, all of which are common in Fijian. Except in introduced proper names, b and d do not occur in fijian unless in combination with m and n respectively; and these letters were given the combined sounds of mb and nd. The sound of ngg was not differentiated from that of ng, already represented by the letter g; but this proved to be a mistake, as it led to confusion. With the subsequent adoption of the unused letter g for the ngg sound, the system of orthography reached its final form; and it is still in use in the Colony. 

The missionaries were not long in realizing that south-eastern Viti Levu was the real seat of power, and the largest centre of population, in the Grou. In January, 1838, Cross visited Bau, hoping to gain an entrance there; but he arrived shortly after Tanoa's return from exile, and found the place in a state of turmoil. He was shocked by what he saw of the horrors of Tanoa's purge, then in progress, and saw no prospect either of success or of security at Bau. After consideration, he decided to open the new station at Rewa, where he was welcomed and offered protection by Tui Dreketi. In July, 1839, the printing press was removed to Rewa, and the value of the more central position was soon apparent. Early in the same year Cross again tried to begin work at Bau; but this time Cakobau would not receive him, having taken offence. because Mr. Cross would not trust himself at Bau on his first visit, but had turned aside and opened a mission station at Rewa. So the missionaries went to Viwa, an island two miles from Bau, their new station being built on a site near the native village, which had been rebuilt since its destruction during d'Urville's raid a year before.

For a long time the missionaries made little progress. Their influence is not, however, to be measured merely by the number of their converts. The high chiefs naturally clung to the traditional customs to which they owed their position and privileges. Cakobau was the most influential of the conservative chiefs, the upholder of privilege, and the exploiter of ancient custom. The new teaching was opposed to much that the chiefs held dear. The missionaries taught pacifism: the chiefs lived by war and pillage. the missionaries taught that there was one true God; the mana on which the prestige of the chiefs was founded was derived from nay gods. Nevertheless, however unwilling the chiefs might have been to acknowledge it, the missionaries exercised a restraint over their actions. Chiefs and people found their savage ways called in question, not by the missionaries alone, but by visiting ships as well. The ships, indeed, stayed a while and then were gone; the missionaries remained; but in practice, the warships protested and supported the missionaries. Superstition, also, played its part in extending missionary influence. Among the survivors of the Argo wreck had been one or two men of superior type, dressed in black, and presumably passengers. These men were killed, with the others, and probably eaten ; and the disastrous epidemic that appeared shortly afterwards was thought to have been due to the wrath of these black-coated strangers' gods. Now, when black-coated missionaries came among them, the Fijians associated them with those earlier visitors; and John Hunt was convinced that he and his colleagues owed some of their immunity from molestation to this superstition. 

It began to dawn upon the chiefs that "the customs of the land", as they euphemistically termed cannibalism and similar horror, were not to be taken as a matter of course, as hitherto they had been. In the presence of Europeans of the better class, the people began to be half ashamed of these customs, surreptitious in the practice of them, and reluctant to discuss them with strangers. They learned, too, from experience, that when harm was done to foreigners, punishment, if sometimes delayed, was nevertheless sure and thorough. The captains of French and British warships made it quite clear that their governments did not look with favour on savagery and fighting - especially when the interests of their nationals were affected. The chiefs began to see that a new era was approaching, when their hitherto unquestioned freedom of action would be restrained; and the more astute among them sought to gain the upper hand while opportunity still existed. When he was urged to receive the missionaries, Tanoa replied "Ah yes, the lotu (Christianity) is very good; but I am not ready yet. Wait a little, till I have killed off three towns. . . ."

To the ruling chiefs, the growing interests of strangers in their midst, the claims of foreign governments, and their own ignorance of the new ways of life that were slowly being forced upon them, were disturbing. some leaned first in one direction and then in the other. but not Cakobau. to the last he was, at any rate, consistent and thorough-going; and when at length he turned to the new3 ways, he did it with a will. It was apparent that the power of the chiefs was weakening, and that they were losing their old absolute freedom of action. Already there had been several punitive measures taken against them. there were to be more.  

NATIVE AFFAIRS: 1840 - 1849

The 'forties were characterized by native warfare on a scale and of a barbarity hitherto unknown in Fiji. Raiding, levying and seizing tribute, being feasted and entertained, resenting and avenging insults, threatening and making war, pillaging and murdering, butchering whole villages, war-parties from Bau ranged over the eastern, central, and northern waters of the Group. They were the disturbers of Fiji, and the "root of war." They made devastating attacks, now here, now there, imposing their will upon all, enriching themselves with spoil, intervening in local fights and turning them into wars of conquest, delivering crushing blows at Verata whenever she raised her head. Except for a few months during 1842, Bau was almost continually at war during the whole period; and most of the time her chiefs had two or even three wars on their hands at once. In November, 1843, there were not less than seven wars in progress in different parts of the Group.

For all their arrogance and aggression, however, the Bau chiefs were not themselves unthreatened: the Tongans in Fiji were numerous, and increasingly insolent and overbearing; and there were movements of large parties of them between Lakeba, Somosomo, and Bau. The presence of influential Tongan chiefs and their followers at Lakeba restricted the depredations of the Bauan war-parties, who on several occasions found their designs frustrated; once, indeed, in October, 1849, they were forced into ignominious retreat. The most important threat of all, however, was to develop from the arrival at Lakeba, early in 1848, of Ma'afu, prince of the royal blood of Tonga. he came unheralded, and his suave manner disarmed suspicion; within five years he was master of all Lau, within ten years he had challenged the supremacy of Cakobau himself, and within fifteen years, he had come near to making Fiji a dependency of the Tongan crown.

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There were also portents and disasters to disturb the native mind. The period opened with a violent storm, on 25th February, 1840 followed by high floods that cover4d the flats of Rewa. On 2nd August, 1841, to their wonder and dismay, the natives saw the full-orbed moon sailing in a clear sky, blotted out in total eclipse. Six months later, on 22nd January, 1842, there was a severe hurricane in Lau. On March, 1843, a comet appeared, and remained a nightly terror for a month only once before in the memory of living men had a comet been seen, and in the old men's tales that appearance was associated with the Argo wreck and the disastrous epidemic that followed it. shortly afterwards, indeed, the war betweeen Bau and Rewa began: a war that was to ruin Rew3a and plunge the delta lands and the contiguous coasts into a deluge of blood that lasted for more than a decade. A year later, in March, 1844, there was a hurricane at Somosomo; and in 1848, there were two hurricanes (13th - 16th January, and 5th April), the second of them being widespread throughout the Group

The unsettled conditions of the period extended to Vanua Levu. From their stronghold at Somosomo, on Taveuni, the chiefs of Cakaudrove dominated the neighbouring islands of Qamea and Laucala, as well as a large part of the mainland of eastern Vanua Levu; but the subject people were ever ready to seize any opportunity to withhold tribute. Early in 1840, the Somosomo chiefs found it necessary to raid Laucala; they secured eleven bodies, which they brought back with them, but the Laucala people retaliated, and the fighting lasted nearly to the end of the year. About the same time, the chief Gigi of Galoa Island, Macuata, led a raid upon the Yasawas; and months afterwards, when Wiles's ships visited these islands, they found ruined villages and devastated gardens on every hand. Calling at Yadua Island on the way to the Yasawas, Gigi demanded quantities of provisions which the people could not supply owing to the havoc wrought by a hurricane a short time previously. Angered by his failure to get food, Gigi land3d a party of warriors, who murdered everyone who fell into their hands. Of such a temper were the Fijian chiefs of 1840.

Bau's attempts to reduce Macuata to the position of a tributary state had been only partly successful. In 1841, Tui Macuata neglected to make the customary presentation of tribute, and the Bau chiefs pressed Namosimalua and Varani, chiefs of Viwa, to lead an expedition against the stronghold on Macuata Island. Namosimalua, for reasons of his own, had lately professed to adopt the lotu or Christian teaching of the missionaries; and the missionaries taught peace, not war; so he went unwillingly. In June, however, Namosimalua's force surrounded Macuata town, cut off the water supply, and gained a bloodless victory after a siege of eight days. Namosimalua returned to Bau, to report; but the chiefs were indignant and scorned such a victory, feeling that they had been robbed of their revenge. Varani, being as yet untroubled by religious scruples, made up for his uncle's neglect by staying behind, burning a village, and massacring a hundred of its people.

Macuata was by no means united; and this was Bau's opportunity. Roko Mamaca, the Tui Macuata, was old and failing. With his son, Bete, he lived at Yunirara, a stronghold opposite Macuata Island, while his nephews Ritova and Roqiqi occupied towns on the adjacent coasts. Bete's ambition was unbounded, but though he acquired great influence over his aged father, he had no rank on his mother's side. Ritova and Roqiqi, on the other hand, were chiefs of the highest rank, and by their superior influence they monopolized the now considerable trade with the beche-de-mer ships. Bete found his ambitious designs frustrated by these popular young chiefs, and urged Tui Macuata to have them put out of the way. Orders were given that they should be clubbed. Roqiqi was killed according to plan; but Ritova escaped to Raviravi, a town a few miles along the coast, where he was among friends. He had been in refuge only a few weeks when an opportunity for revenge present4ed itself. In January, 1841, Cakobau sent Varani with a war-party to attack Galoa, Gigi's island, only about twenty miles west of Raviravi. the Bau warriors stormed Galoa, and massacred Gigi and ninety of his people. They then went on to the mainland, and at Lekuta, Ritova met them with a request for help against Macuata. Varani went back to Bau for a fleet, and a larger force; but he returned within a month, joined forces with Ritova, gathered disaffected warriors along the coast, and sailed for Vanirara, where Taui Macuata and Bete were known to be. The approach of the fleet being delayed by head winds, a surprise attack was impossible and the attackers landed to find that Tui Macuata and Bete had escaped to Naduri. The Bau party followed them, and they fled to safety at Mouta, a stronghold forty miles to the north-east. On this occasion the Macuata stronghold was utterly destroyed and those of its people who escaped the club were carried off as prisoners.

Ritova's position was now assured. By frequent visits to Bau and Viwa, and suitable gifts of property, he retained Cakobau's favour; his coast was frequented by beche-de-mer ships, which were a source of wealth to himself and his people; and for four years Tui Macuata and Bete were virtually prisoners in their refuge at Mouta.

Bua, also, was in a state of civil war. The circumstances were so typical of the local wars of the period that they merit some description. These were chiefs' wars, and, like kings on a cheese-board, the high chiefs were neither taken nor killed. They were exceptions, and important ones; but generally, when a chief was cornered in war, he was allowed to escape. Rarely did a high chief fall in combat; for him was reserved the assassin's club, the treacherous blow when peace seemed assured. As for the common people, their chief's cause was their cause. The essential justice or injustice of the system was never so much as questioned. There were, indeed, rebellions; but they were rebellions of chiefs against the tyranny of other chiefs. With dull passivity, the common people lived on, or suffered crushed skulls and the cannibal oven, as fate or the whim of their oppressors might decree.

The high chiefs of Bua were Tui Bua (Ra Masima), and his cousin Tui Muru, both of whom lived at Vaturua, near the mouth of the Bua river. In accordance with Fijian Tui Muru; and he was the pride of both chiefs, for he was a great warrior. Early in 1840, the old chiefs quarrelled; and the young Vunidaga took his relative's part against his own father. Tui Bua moved across the river to Tiliva; and over the narrow waters the opposing factions hurled insults, and occasional spears. Stragglers were not off and plantations raided, until at length these hostile acts culminated in an attack upon Tiliva by Tui Muru's party. Tui Bua was driven back into the country, and Tiliva was occupied by his enemies. In June , the U.S.S. Peacock of ther United States Exploring Expedition was at Bua, and Captain Hudson attempted to make peace between the hostile chiefs. He thought he had succeeded, but after the ship sailed fighting broke out again. Tui Bua now appealed to Varani for help, promising him his favourite daughter. Varani came, and with him warriors from Bau; but the fighting was indecisive, and a state of smouldering hostility with desultory fighting continued until 1845, when Tui Maru came under missionary influence, renounced heathenism and made his peace with Tui Bua. 

There was also war between Bau and Somosomo, the cause being the Somosomo chiefs' jealousy of Bau's growing influence in their dominions. Early in 1840, canoes from Vuna, a group of villages of the southern end of Tavenuni, were in distress. The crews took refuge on the coast near Bau, and were well received. On their return to Vuna, these people proposed to make a feast for the entertainment of the Bau chiefs, in acknowledgment of their help; but Tui Cakau and Tui Kilakila, their over-lords at Somosomo, objected that if Vuna could afford to make fests it could afford to pay higher tribute, which they forthwith demanded. Being assured of support from Bau, Vuna refused to pay. In June, to make matters worse, the Somosomo people captured a fishing canoe belonging to Bau, and killed and ate the crew. War was now inevitable, and both sides prepared for it. Somosomo sought aid from Macuata; but, having lately had a taste of Bau's power, Tui Macuata refused to be drawn into the war; and Tui Kilakila went to the Cakaudrove coast to muster forces. In August, 1840, having assembled war-parties from Bouma and Wainikeli - districts on the north-eastern coast of Taveuni - and from the opposite mainland, he prepared to attack Vuna; but for some weeks there was more kidnapping than actual fighting. Then, in September, the army moved against the Vuna stronghold. After completing the usual paths, trenches, and fences, Tui Kilakila gave the Vuna people three days in which to sue for peace. They affected to spurn his offer; nevertheless, on the fourth day, when an assault was imminent, they sent a herald bearing the customary peace-offering of a basket of earth, and whales' teeth. On the following day the Vuna chief's fair daughter was presented to Tui Kilakila, and the town was burnt in order that "if the Bau canoes came, they might find the place empty". The Vuna people were ordered to remove to Somosomo until they should be allowed to rebuild their town, and the combined forces returned to Somosomo, in seeming amity, on 25th September, 1840. 

Meanwhile, all was not well at Bau. Having given little satisfaction by his conduct of the Macuata expedition, Namosimalua refused to have anything to do with this new war. Cakobau went to Levuka, to seek help from the white traders there; but they also refused, and he returned in a rage; and he quarrelled with his cousin Wainiu, who, being vasu to Somosomo, was suspected of treachery. Wainiu fled in disgrace to Somosomo, taking with him the allegiance of a considerabhle section of Bau's allies; and he proceeded to buy over the Verata chiefs, thus bringing the war close to Bau's frontiers. Cakobau's promised expedition against Somosomo was a failure, and he was back again at Bau within a few days. But there was worse to come. while Varani and his warriors were absent on the expedition to Macuata (February, 1841), the Verata people attacked Bau, killed five people, and, taking the bodies to Somosomo, ate them in triumph. In the followingmonth Cakobau set out to avenge this assault; but his attack on Verata failed completely, and during the absence of the warriors the houses on Bau were burnt - whether by accident or with intent is not known. 

In his gloom and shame Cakobau turned to his friend at Viwa; and Varani's scheme was as foul as it was successful. He spread a report that Bau was angry with Viwa and would destroy it; and recent events lent a colour of truth to the lie. Trouble had arisen between Namosimalua and his principal wife, and a Bau chief was implicated in the scandal. Greatly angered, Namosimalua was in a mood to listen to any scheme against Bau; and Varani made full use of these circumstances. He sent to Namena, an important district of Verata, to ask for help in the threatened attack by the hated Bauans. In May, twelve canoes came; a hundred an forty men from Namena landed on Viwa, "and were in the net". Varani and Cakobau arranged the rfest between them. Cross, who witnessed the massacre, tells what happened. Bau attacked in three companies; two cut off the retreat; one, the strongest, under Cakobau himself, did the work. As soon as the first shots had been exchanged, both leaders explained the plot to their astonished followers, and both parties turned their clubs and muskets against the doomed men of Namena. A few aNameana people were saved by Viwa Christians; the rest were clubbed or shot. The bodies of more than a hundred of them were taken to Bau or sent to Cakobau's allies to be cooked and eaten on, and twenty of them were consumed at Rewa.

With this success to his credit, Cakobau felt that the war had gone far enough, Bau was rebuilt in July, 1841, and friendly relations with Somosomo were resumed. The white traders, however, were not soon forgiven for their refusal of help. In July, 1841, both of the Levuka towns - native and European - were burnt in the night, and the traders lost their property. They suspected that the fire had been started by Cakobau's orders; but they were unable to prove anything against him, and could have done little about it even had proof been clear.

Now, for over a year, Bau was at peace, but the chiefs invited new wars by tyrannizing over everyone in their power. Jackson saw an example of this, at Batiki, while the Bau chief Raivalita was visiting the island. some of his aides complained that the food provided for them was not properly cooked, and the angry chief made the people concerned crawl on hands and knees over the rough shingle of the beach, and forced them to eat pumice. Again, when young men from Bau were visiting Lakeba, horse-play with the young bloods of Tubou led to fighting, for these people were bad losers. Next morning, the people of Tubou were awakened by the firing of cannon, and ran out of their houses to find that the Bau camp had been enclosed in the night and put in a state of defence. War was narrowly averted. In March, 1841, there was fighting between the districts of Mouta and Mali, in Macuata, and the chief Bonaveidogo sought help from Somosomo to quell the trouble. Two thousand warriors who went to his aid returned in triumph after a short campaign with the Macuata forces, having slain three men.

The clash between traditional customs and the new ways of Christianity brought civil war to Ono-i-Lau, in May, 1841. It was a war more of words than of deeds; in four months, six of the heathen party and two of the Christians had been killed and peace was restored on 18th July. there was also fighting on Vanua Balava, where the Duku-i-Yaro people rebelled against their over-lords at Yaro and allied themselves with the rival chiefs of Lomaloma. In this war the Christians of both aides refused to take part, and retired to Munia Island, where they set up a neutral settlement of their own.

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Roko Taleai Tupou, the tui Nayau of the period, was a king with neither kingly qualities nor power. Wilkes described him as "a corpulent, nasty-looking fellow, with the unmitigated habits of a savage"; he was "slovenly in person and habits, dull in countenance, childish in behaviour, mean and niggardly in disposition". Nominally, he was king of Southern Lau; but he was dominated and impoverished by Tongans, threatened and bled white by Bau. the Tongans begged or stole his people's food and property; the Bau chiefs kept the threat of war hanging over him in order to exact large payments of tribute. To add to his troubles, his chief town, Tubou, was destroyed by fire on 18th September, 1841, and again on 21st June, 1843, when sixty-three houses, two temples, and a few cannon, were destroyed. The observant Thomas Williams has recorded the price Tui Nayau paid for peace: on 1st February, 1843, the tribute fleet left for 'Bau, taking one immense canoe, fifteen rolls of bark cloth, more than fifty mosquito screens, seven large balls of magimagi (coconut cord), ten whales' teeth, and (for Tanoa's domestic establishment) Radi Tagici, the king's favourite daughter. But this was only a payment on account. Little more than three months later (21st May) Cakobau arrived at Lakeba with a fleet of canoes and a large following, to be entertained and to receive further gifts. The buying off and entertainment of the Bauans, the ravages of fire, and the exactions of the Tongans, kept Tui Nayau's people in a state of abject poverty.  

The Lakeba people were ready enough to resist war-parties from Bau; but the chief Mara, known in Lau as Kamisese, was usually Bau's emissary, and he had a power over them they could not deny, for he was vasu to Lakeba. On 27th "August, 1841, a Bau canoe was sighted off the island and the people prepared to dispute the landing; but, learning that Kamisese was on board, they stood aside and received him with cries of respect. 
 
In April, 1842, over a thousand Tongans left the island to return to Tonga, yet numbers of them remained. since the normal population of Lakeba was variously estimated at from two to four thousand people, including Tongans, it is evident that Tongans made up a large part of it. In September, 1842, the Lakeba chief Vuetasau visited Bau to beg for time to pay delayed tribute; and the position was so grave that war was believed to be inevitable should the soro or peace-offering not be accepted. Bau, however, was recovering from another of its frequent fires; Lasakau, the eastern part of Bau, had been accidentally burnt on 10th August; and whether from that cause or another, Vuetasau's mission was successful, and he returned in peace. The unexpected arrival at Lakeba of King George of Tonga and his suite, on 22nd October, 1842, afforded tui Mayan temporary protection, for the Baud chiefs were unwilling to risk the Tongan king's displeasure; but weeks of entertainments during the royal visit left the Lakeba people poorer than ever. One event, however, brought them a thrill of pride; on 19th November, Tui Nayau sailed his new canoe Rusa i vanua from Vulaga to Lakeba; and the people proudly noted that the great hulls were even longer than those of Ra Marama, then under construction for Bau, at Somosomo.   
 
By the end of 1842, despite the exodus earlier in the year, the Tongans were as much in evidence at Lakeba as ever. On 5th December, there was a general meeting (vono) of them at Lakeba, called by their chief Lajiki under instructions left by King George, with the object of bringing them under control. shortly afterwards two sandalwood ships arrived, on the voyage from Tonga to the New Hebrides, and having on board the Tongan prince Ma'afu with a large party of his people. Ma'afu had hoped to pick up additional men at Lakeba, but in this he was disappointed. the ships continued their voyage, and Ma'afu distinguished himself by his cold-blooded efficiency in getting cargoes and disposing of the natives who resisted the violation of their land and property.
 
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At Rewa, the old family feuds continued. Lat in 1840, Qaraniqio was detected in an illicit affair with the handsome queen of Rewa, and fled to Rau to avoid the just anger of his brother the king. He remained at Bau until the middle of 1841, attempting to induce the chiefs to engage in a war against Rewa in his interest; but the Bau chiefs would have nothing to do with such a scheme, and tried by every means to reconcile the brothers. similar efforts were made by the Rewa chiefs, and by the missionaries and at length the rivals consented to drink yaqona together. Qaraniqio returned to Rewa, but soon he was off on an expedition to Kadavu, to avenge the alleged unfaithfulness of a young woman promised to him. After he had burnt the town of Nakasaleka, with the usual slaughter, it was proved that the rumour about the lady's dishonour was false. Meanwhile, in January, 1841, the king quarrelled with another brother, Phillips (or Cokanauto). Like Qaraniqio, Phillips fled to Bau, though he was no friend of his brother and companion in exile. He remained at Bau until August, when he returned to Rewa in defiance of the king, and being ordered to leave, refused to go, and announced his intention to fight should the king try to compel him. this triangular family feud hung over Rewa like a dark closed in which lurked the gathering storm of war.

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During Somosomo's war with Bau, in 1841, the Natewa - a powerful vanua (confederation) on the peninsula opposite Taveuni - took the opportunity to revolt. The situation deteriorated during 1842; and in October, war was expected. On 22nd November, a party of tui Kilakila's men was ambushed at Bua, and his younger brother Uluabola and eleven others were killed. In the following month (27th December) Tui Kilakila was at Bua, trying to get help against the rebels; and early in 1843 he attacked and destroyed two Natewa towns - Navatu and Bua. Natewa itself was too strong for frontal attack. Somosomo's only hope of crushing it lay in getting help from Bau; and tui Kilakila spared neither property nor effort to win it. Tribute due to him from Vanua Balavu was allowed to accumulate for a full year; and, on 19th September, 1843, he set out with more than seven hundred warriors to collect it; for the canoe Ra Marama, which was to be presented to Cakobau, was nearing completion, and much property was needed for presentation with it. The fleet called for Bau on 6th March, 1844, in the charge of the old chief tui Cakau; and it had the good fortune to miss a severe hurricane which struck Somosomo a week later. Cakobau was at this time fully occupied with a new war, against Rewa; and until he should be free and willing to help against the Natewa, Tui Kilakila had to content himself with raids on minor towns; and these met with indifferent success. The Natewa retaliated. Stragglers were cut off, plots were contrived, and the war-canoes at Somosomo were ever ready for launching to intercept threatened raids, most of which proved to be only rumour. Nor were all of Tui Kilakila's enemies at Natewa. He walked with his chin on his shoulder for fear of treachery; and in June, 1845, his brother Lewenilovo plotted to kill him. The plot was discovered in time, however, and Lewenilovo was clubbed. Then, on 24th August, the old chief Tui Cakau died, and was buried at Weilagi with elaborate ceremony. Tui Kilakila had been for years the real ruler; now he was formally installed as Tui Cakau, in his father's place. But the installation was premature. His remaining brother, with whom he was not on good terms, was ready to dispute his claim to the position; the late king's brother, Ralulu, however, had a better claim than either of them, and a strong party secured his succession. but Ralulu was heavy with years, and Tui Kilakila still wielded the power, even though he lacked the title.

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All these events paled into insignificance when, at the end of 1843, Bau declared war on Rewa. The war continued for more than eleven years, being really a series of wars; and it was described by John Hunt who lived in the mist of it, as the bitterest and most terrible war that Fiji had known, marked by barbarities more fiendish than the oldest could remember". it was fought in the most densely populated part of "Fiji, in an area where villages were strung closely along the streams of the delta. 'there were none of the mountain strongholds that offered security in other districts, the only protection being reed fences, and moats dug in the mud of the mangrove swamps. the conditions favoured the ugliest features of native warfare. Only the earlier phases of this war come within the period now under review; and in these Bau was successful. The changing events of the early 'fifties, and the dramatic denouncement of 1855, are described in a later chapter.

 The causes of the war had nothing to do with the people who suffered and were slaughtered. They were domestic entanglements and personal enmities among the chiefs; but the original causes were soon lost in the general hate engendered by the fighting, in the thirst for revenge, and in Cakobau's lust for power. the quarrel seems to have begun during Qaraniqio's exile at Bau; he became involved in a scandal with one of Cakobau's wives, and Cakobau retaliated by causing the death of one of his wives. A more serious breach occurred owing to Rewa's hostility to the people of Suva, which was a dependency of Bau and a favourite resort of the aged king, Tanoa. Hostility between Rewa and Suva had been of long standing, and there had been frequent skirmishes between them; in 1841, for example, when Qaraniqio had called at Suva in returning from Nadroga, there had been a quarrel over a pig, and the Rewa chiefs had suffered insult and the loss of a warrior. Early in 1843, the Rewa chiefs thought to settle these differences once and for all. They masked their preparations by announcing that they intended to attack a town on Kadavu; but at the last moment their fleet was diverted to Suva. On 6th April, the town was taken and burnt, many of its people being killed; and three days later the survivors were massacred with singular barbarity. This was a direct challenge that Bau could not well ignore; yet Tanoa, remembering the help he had received from his friends at Rewa during his exile evinced a forbearance strangely unlike his usual proud and resentful attitude. Cakobau went off to Lakeba in May, and stayed away for some months; and it was generally believed that he did so to avoid the issue of war.

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About this time Tanoa's principal wife, who was Tui Dreketi's sister and the mother of Raivalita, was unfaithful; and with several other women of Tanoa's household, she fled in disgrace to her brother at Rewa. Such incidents were common enough; but this one provided the spark that ignited an inflammable accumulation of personal hatred. The king of Rewa seemed determined to accomplish his own destruction. Instead of returning the fugitives, he gave his sister to a Rewa chief and disposed of the other women as he pleased. Fijian etiquette knew no grosser insult. Tanoa had borne long with Rewa; now he was filled with violent hatred. when Cakobau returned from Lakeba the old man appealed to him to avenge his father's shame, and Cakobau took up the challenge. War was declared late in 1843.

The events of the war are complicated by the tangled relations which existed between the Bau chiefs and other ruling families. With no other kingdom was Bau so closely related as with Rewa. The two places had been on friendly terms for many years. Bau women of rank had been given to Rewa chiefs, from the king down; Tanoa and other high chiefs of Bau had taken high-born Rewa women into their households, where some of them occupied the highest place. there was a Rewa party of Bau, led by Raivalita, Cakobau's half-brother and rival, who was high vasu to Rewa; and there was a strong Bau party at Rewa, led by tui Drekei's disaffected brother Cokanauto or Phyllips. A third brother, Quranigio, supported the king and led the loyalist forces. the vasu relationships made the early stages of the war a conflict so much between rival familles as between the two kingdoms. As usual, the common people followed their masters; but the border towns changed sides as the events of the moment made it profitable to do so. both sides sent out considerable forces; but they never met in battle. Instead, there was the usual guerilla warfare; and, as the months passed, the Rewa forces were slowly driven back upon their chief town.  

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The actual fighting began in January, 1844, when raiding parties from Bau cut off and killed thirty of Rewa's allies. A week later, seventeen more Rewa people were clubbed by treachery in an apparently friendly town; and Rewa replied by burning the town. so the fighting went on, with varying fortune, but with the Rewa forces gradually giving ground. At the end of the year John Hunt described the war as "of a most malignant kind", and wrote that nothing but a revolution in Bau or Rewa could end it. He was wrong, however. Treachery, not revolution, ended this campaign. In March, 1845, plots were contrived to assassinate tui Dreketi and Qaraniqio; but they failed. an attempt to club Phillips in his stronghold at Nukui also failed. Many who had been allies of Rewa when the war began now went over to Bau, and with them went their food gardens. Hemmed in on the north and east by the forces of Bau, on the south by the rebels under Phillips, and on the west by the river, the Rewa people found the area over which their foraging parties could gather food becoming more and more restricted. Rewa itself was a group of towns merging into one another, and strung for a mile and a half along the bank of the rifer, with a large population; and the scarcity of food became serious. by December, 1845, the war had reached a crisis. Cakobau, anxious to employ all his resources, was angry with Namosimalua and Varani of Viwa, both of whom were now professed Christians and refused to take any part in the war. He ordered a food blockade of their island, but before its effects were felt the campaign had moved on to a climax, and Coobas was - for the time being - victorious.

In their reverses, the Rewa chiefs still looked for help to their vasu, Raivalita, who had secretly agreed to kill his half-brother Cakobau on condition that Rewa should become tributary to him when he should have usurped the chief place at Bau. But Cakobau learned of the plot; and about august, 1845, he had Raivalita clubbed in cold blood. In the scuffle, Cakobau himself narrowly escaped death from a white man's pistol, which, however, missed fire. Nayagodamu, Raivalita's kinsman and friend, escaped, and lived to harry Cakobau later. Raivalita's death was a heavy blow to Rewa, and it was followed by other losses. Lokia, a town on the west bank of the river, deserted. Tokatoka, also, went over to Bau; and this was more serious, for it was a place of warriors (bati), and one of the bulwarks of Rewa. Though situated on low-lying land, with no natural defences, Tokatoka was protected by a labyrinth of paths that led round moats and ditches designed to confuse and baffle attackers; the system of defences extended for four miles around, and must have taken the labour of a century to build. finally, Cakobau, by the promise of his sister in marriage bought over the chief of Nakelo, whose lands marked the boundary between the dominions of Bau and Rewa, and were the very cockpit of the delta. Tui Nakelo's uncertain allegiance was so important that (Jackson says) "Bau and Rewa would have shed the last drop of their blood to obtain it". Deserted by her friends and allies, short of food, her enemies closing in upon her, Rewa sued for peace. 

 Like other Fijian chiefs of his day, the Rewa chief who went to Bau to negotiate the peace had his price; and Cakobau bought him. It was agreed between them that Cakobau and his warriors should visit Rewa to receive the submission of Tui Dreketi and his people. On the day appointed (December, 1845), Cakobau's canoe and another anchored off Rewa, closely followed by the Bau fleet. The queen, who was a Bau lady, was sent for, and she and her children were taken aboard. The king followed. Cakobau ordered him back; but, believing that Cakobau had indeed come in peace, he persisted in boarding the canoe, unarmed, and was shot and clubbed before the eyes of his wife of flames announced that traitors within the fortifications had set fire to the houses. While loyalists and rebels fought within there were few to oppose the entry of the warriors of Bau, who sacked and destroyed the town, and massacred between three and four hundred of the people, including one of Qaraniqio's wives and three of the children. Qaraniqio himself was absent when the attack began; and seeing the war canoes and the smoke, he fled in a small canoe, was pursued, escaped and took refuge with a friendly tribe in the hills behind Suva.    

The rebel chief Phillips was now made king of Rewa, and set about establishing his position by killing off those of the loyalist chiefs who had escaped the slaughter. So ended the first campaign of the war, with Rewa in ruins, Cakobau exultant at Bau, Phillips insecurely placed at Nukui as king of Rewa, and Qaraniqio in the hills gathering strength for a counter stroke.  

 
Cakobau gave his twice-promised sister to Gavidi, the chief of Lasakau; and his perfidy so angered Tui Nakelo that he transferred his allegiance to the fugitive Qaraniqio, who mustered the scattered forces of Rewa for a new offensive. At the end of January, 1847, Bau moved against Nakelo, and the defenders retired leaving their empty town to be burnt. "Qaraniqio and his allies rallied among the charred ruins of Rewa, threw up a fence and a few huts, thus placing their camp in a state of defence, and began to rebuild the town in defiance of Bau. But such unwonted unanimity was not to last. tui Nakelo was murdered by traitors, and Cakobau invaded the Kuku district, thus drawing the Nakelo people out of Rewa to defend it. The Bau forces made a feigned retreat, the Nakelo warriors went home in premature triumph, and a force of eight hundred men which Cakobau had brought up secretly and held in reserve made a night attack and swept through the Kuku district burning one village after another. In August, 1847, Cakobau gathered his forces at Tokatoka, and sent a message to Qaraniqio, warning him that the new town at Rewa was about to be burnt, and suggesting that he should take sanctuary at Nukulau. this was a little too obvious. Qaraniqio fled, indeed, but not to Nikulau. From a hill on the west bank of the river he watched the Bau canoes and off to ambush him at Nukulau; and when they had gone he made good his escape up the river. On 1st September, 1847, Rewa was burnt for the second time; and within a few weeks Cakobau moved against the town of Noco, which was destroyed, about two hundred of its people being taken alive and many others killed.
 
Cakobau tried by gifts and threats to bring about the death of Qaraniqio. But the hill people were unmoved: the gifts they kept; the threats they ignored. Qqaraniqio himself was more liberal with gifts than Cakobau, for he was provided with merchandise by Williams, the United States commercial agent. His protectors realized that, if they killed him, both his gifts and Cakobau's would cease. Bribery having failed, Cakobau tried stratagem. Exercising his powerful influence over the Naitasiri people, he persuaded them to pay an ostensibly friendly visit to the town in which Qaraniqio was sheltering, to present yams to him. They were hospitably entertained, and rose before dawn to murder over a hundred of their hosts. When, however, they came to count the bodies, Qaraniqio's was not among them. Suspecting treachery, he had slept in another town.
 
It was understood among the Fijians that a town burnt in war might be rebuilt only at the pleasure of the victors; and, having thwarted Qaraniqio's attempt to rebuild Rewa in defiance of them, the Bauans rebuilt it themselves at the end of 1847. The remnants of the Rewa people were gathered again under a Bau chief as governor. Phillips, the puppet king, continued to exercise a doubtful authority from Nukui, a few miles away; and, secure in his refuge in the hills, Qaraniqio quietly bided his time. So the situation remained for several years, until, in the early 'fifties, the war entered upon its third and final phase.
 
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In 1846, the war with Rewa was so well in hand that Cakobau had time and men to spare against the Natewa. tui Kilakila visited Bau in December, 1845, bringing costly gifts to support his request for help; but six months passed before Cakobau felt free to go. On 22nd June, 1846, however, he arrived at Somosomo, with the Tongan chief Tubou Totai and three thousand warriors in one of the largest flotillas of canoes that Fiji had ever seen. In a campaign lasting a little more than three weeks, the combined forces of Bau and Somosomo - probably five thousand men - reduced the Natewa, with the loss of half a dozen men on each side. but so far from deriving any benefit from this victory, tui Kilakila was humiliated and left in worse case than before: his allies from Bau left his people without food, carried off his fleet and the carpenters who might have replaced it, and usurped his authority over the defeated Natewa. In October of the following year, Cakobau and a large party of warriors paid another visit to Natewa, the object being "not clearly known". Most probably he was taking steps to ensure that his influence there should not weaken.
 
The year 1845 brought renewed strife on Vanua Levu. For years, Roko Mamaca, the Tui Macuata, had stayed secure in the stronghold at Mouta. Ritova had sent messages urging the old chief to make peace and rebuild his home on Macuata Island; but Roko Mamaca feared treachery. At length, in 1845, he was persuaded to sail down the road to Raviravi, where Ritova feasted him for two days and discussed plans for rebuilding Macuata. On the third morning the old chief was in the house with Ritova and others; with every protestation of friendship, he was preparing to take his leave, when he was clubbed by Ritova's accomplice Korovakaturaga. His twelve followers were butchered at the door. Ritova had now to deal with Bete, and he sought help from Bau to attack the stronghold at Mouta. In due course Mouta was attacked, more than two hundred of its people being killed; but Bete's followers stood their ground and Ritova returned to Raviravi, where for the next fifteen years he held his place as tui Macuata, while Bete nursed his lost for revenge.
 
At Bua, events followed a similar course. tui Muru died soon after he had made his peace with Tui Bua, and Vunidaga succeeded to his position at Tiliva. Vunidaga latu-ed in 1847, and was thereafter known as Hezekiah. the town of Bua, earlier named Vaturua, and situated across the river from Tiliva, had been reoccupied by the aged Tui Bua; and its chiefs were angrily hostile towards Hezekiah's Christian settlement on the opposite bank. The condition of the people was wretched in the extreme. For years they had been prevented by war from giving due attention to planting, and mothers were said to have destroyed their children because there was not food enough to nourish them. The people had become shiftless and indolent, and useful arts were neglected; houses were in disrepair, for burnings had been so frequent that the occupants had become careless of their condition. to such a pass had this once prosperous district been reduced by civil war. No sooner, indeed, had Tui Muru's funeral feasts been observed, than there was fresh cause for offence, and the hate and strife flared up again. Varani of Viwa had renounced heathenism in March, 1845; he was thereupon married to his favourite wife, and sent the others, among them tui Muru's daughter, back to their people with suitable presents and explanations. tui Bua and his old men were deeply offended at this rejection of their lady, and they set about avenging the insult by persecuting the Christian community across the river, at Tiliva. In 1847, however, tui Bua died, leaving Hezekiah and three younger sons - Batinamu, Temaivunisa (Peter), and Urabuta, all of about equal rank. The eldest son, Hezekiah, would normally have succeeded to his father's place and title; but the old men passed him by on account of his latu sympathies, and the young Batinamu was installed as Tui Bua. Batimanu at once evidenced his intention of prosecuting the old feud with vigour. Thomas Williams had established a mission station at Tiliva, on 3rd November, 1847; and Batinamu announced his plan to kill the missionary and appropriate Mrs. Williams with other spoils from the mission house. but first he must go to Macuata and kill Ritova and as many as possible of his people, in revenge for the late Tui Macuata's death; then, he said, he would return to Bua and deal with Tiliva and other Christian communities.  

Ritova did not passively await the expected attack. Bitter enemies though they were, he and Bete combined under the threat of invasion; and in August, Bete made a descent upon a Bua town, killing about a hundred of its people. Guerilla warfare during the following twelve months accounted for twenty-six more victims. By October, 1848, Batinamu's preparations for the attack on Ritova were complete, and with several hundred warriors he set out for Macuata. Three days later, however, he walked into a trap; in a seemingly friendly town he was shot, and despatched with a battle-axe his body being eaten at Raviravi. Tamaivunisa, or Peter, was now installed as Tui Bua, and he carried on the war against the Christian party, which nevertheless continued to grow. Under the influence of a native teacher, the chief of Dama - a district near Bua - had latu-ed in November, 1847; and soon this man's lately-adopted ideas against war earned him the disfavour of his superiors at Bua. while the hostilities against Ritova were in progress, the Bua chiefs had other things to think of; but Dama's refusal to take part in the war made bad blood, and already there were distant rumblings of the storm that was to break over Bua in the early 'fifties.  

Years of prosperity had made Ritova bold. Though he owned his position as Tui Macuata to help from Bau, finding himself stronger, he became lax in his payment of tribute; and, in 1848, Cakobau sent Varani with a war-party, to bring him to heel. On the occasion Varani adopted Namosimalua's tactics, and secured a bloodless victory. Having placated Bau, Ritova and Bete occupied themselves with failure; and, as always, it was the common people who paid the price. The whole coast was divided into mutually hostile factions, some supporting one chief and some another. Ritova's people, indeed, spared time from warlike pursuits to fish for beche-de-mer, for that was the source of their chief's wealth and power; but throughout Macuata and Bua food was scarce, houses were neglected, and peaceful arts in abeyance. The evils of native warfare were seldom more apparent.

 
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There is a depressing monotony about the native affairs of this period. One cycle of events was common; a chief murdered, a town burnt - and its people sometimes destroyed - in retaliation, and guerrilla warfare in which harmless folk were waylaid and slaughtered until both sides grew tired of it or became involved in a new fight elsewhere. The close of the 'forties may be likened to that period of calm which is experienced during a hurricane, before a renewed onslaught of the wind from the opposite direction. there was a lull in the war between Bau and Rewa, Bau having - for the time being - the advantage; religious war was threatened at Viwa and in Bua; the Natewa were hiding between Bau hand Somosomo; Lakeba, largely in the hands of Tongans, was threatened by the chiefs of Bau, who felt their hold on it slipping. On every hand there were adumbrations of war. Yet, for the moment, Fiji enjoyed peace.  
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Foreign Affairs: 1840 - 1849

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