The Rich Historical Past of the Fiji Islands

Fiji’s Rich Historical Past

Fiji is an archipelago nation of more than 332 islands and 500 islets in the South Pacific. It is currently home to more than 800,000 people, around half of them indigenous and most of the rest American Indians brought there by the British. Fiji is well known as a popular tourist destination and the resorts of the Fiji Islands are known for their luxury, but this unique nation also has a rich historical past which can be an appeal for visitors as well.

The islands of Fiji were first settled around 8,000 years ago by adventurous travelers from Southeast Asia. A second migration, approximately 3,000 years ago, brought more settlers, this time from Polynesia. Traditional religion on the islands consists of animism and the original organization was based around clan structures. The people of Fiji were known for their skill at sailing, navigation and crafting pottery.

Fiji was first discovered by Europeans in 1643, though official contact was not initiated until much later, in 1789. In 1874 the king of Fiji at the time handed the nation over to Britain, who implemented colonial-style rule over the islands. It was not until 1970 that Fiji regained its independence and became its own nation once more.

Those visiting Fiji have plenty of historical locations to choose from. One of the most popular areas is the Coral Coast, a location of much archaeological activity. The Sigatoka Sandunes contain excavated remains of several ancient fishing villages and the sands themselves are filled with the remains of pottery that dates back more than 1,000 years. Tavuni Hill Fort is another excavated site, complete with ceremonial remains such as killing stones which offer a glimpse into the nation’s past.

Another popular site is Navala Village, a traditional village filled with bamboo and thatch houses. Levuka, the old capital of Fiji, is a colonial town preserved in time, home to many churches dating to the 1800s as well as the monument commemorating the relinquishing of Fiji to Queen Victoria by King Cakabau. The Fiji Museum in Suva, Viti Levu, displays many items from the country’s past, including artifacts and traditional canoes.

Visitors will find that resorts in the Fiji Islands are top-notch and happily cater to tourists. Fiji is also well-known for its surfing and Fiji surfing resorts are the places to stay if one is seeking a more active vacation. Those who wish to take a trip to this amazing island nation should contact a Fiji travel agency, as they will be able to find the most affordable rates and steer potential visitors to the attractions which are most appealing to them.