Cannibalism in Fiji
Today Fiji is known as one of the most beautiful places on Earth thanks to the crystal clear blue water, abundance of tourist attractions, and the areas exceptional reputation for hospitality. As vacationers look at the stunning photos included in most Fiji vacation packages deals, it’s hard to image that the island could be known for anything short of enjoyable. Fiji has a dark taboo history, however, one that is filled with cannibalism.
No one knows exactly when islanders first came to the island of Fiji, but archaeological research shows that it was somewhere between 1600 to 1200 BC. During the long voyage, many passengers within the boat died due to sickness and other complications due to the long voyage. As time went on, food quickly became scarce for sailors. Without the proper nutrition, sailors were facing a slow and painful death, all before even reaching land. To prevent this, the gruesome decision to begin consuming the dead was made.
While cannibalism was originally only done as a method of survival, it quickly became a regular occurrence amongst the sailors even after reaching land. There have been several reports from around the 1800s of the islanders reporting that human tasted similar to pork. For a while, fresh graves were dug up in the middle of the night and bodies were stolen to be cooked and eaten later. This allowed the islanders to eat well without having to go through the added trouble of hunting.
As time progressed, more people began to inhabit the area. Conflict was at an all time high and the islanders began creating specially made weapons that were designed to crush the bones of humans. This darker side of cannibalism quickly grew into an almost sport-like game.
There are many reports from the 1850s that documented cruel and usual means of death via cannibalism. An example of this is tells about a young women who runs away in the middle of the night. The following day she is found, and as punishment, her husband cuts off both her arms at the elbow. He then cooks the limbs and forces her, already writhing in pain, to watch as he consumes both arms in front of her. The women then died a few days later from complications due to the amputation.
As time went on, more additional people visited the area and told the islanders of Christianity. Many converted to this new religion and, as a result, the cannibalism stopped. Now, over 100 years later, times have changed dramatically on the island. Fiji vacation packages are often sold to couples or families looking for a relaxing tropical retreat, and the islands have virtually no crime. This somewhat taboo history just goes to show that having a dark past does not necessarily equal a dark future.