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Journeying Across Cultures

Oceanic vs. Continental man
Sharks and other subjects of comparison

By Mara Jevera Fulmer
April 2003

The goals of this research project are two-fold. First, the project is intended to demonstrate that we all bring with us our own “Cultural Lens” when it comes to interpreting events and rituals from different cultures. In the second instance, the project is intended to demonstrate the existence of our cultural lens through a comparison of perspectives of Oceanic versus Continental man, using the general region of Oceania, with examples from Fiji in particular, in comparison to general American perspectives on subjects such as the “sailing journey” and cultural feelings about the Shark. A multimedia/interactive project accompanies the written portion of this project and can be viewed online at:


We all bring with us our own Cultural Lens through which we interpret events and rituals. We can see examples of our own cultural lenses when we attempt to view and understand other cultures. We'll take a look at how cultural geography can shape our feelings about the ocean itself and the sharks that inhabit it and how this might extend to other areas of cultural comparison.

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Highways & Byways

Making the Journey

highway, (hi'wa'), n. 1. a main road, esp. one between towns or cities. 2. any public passage, either a road or waterway. 3. any main or ordinary route, track, or course.

We travel across the sea of land yachts, large and small.

Paved Currents of Travel

We begin our journey here in Michigan, the birthplace of the automotive industry. As Americans, we take our journeys via highways in our great land yachts while traveling from the Midwest to the shores of the Atlantic or Pacific oceans.
In the Flint area, people in the community speak as if the entire country were wrapped up in the automotive economy. Everything revolves around cars – building them, selling them, dressing them up, watching them race, driving them on the crowded highspeed highways. We can begin to see that their definition of travel mostly consists of anything and anyplace they can get to by car or vehicle. For many college students in Flint, whose lives sink or thrive at the whim of the automotive industry and market, the journey ends within a day’s drive. We can imagine their view as being one that begins at the center (literally of the nation) and moves by paved roads out until one reaches the edge of shore, be it the shores of the Great Lakes, or maybe, if feeling really adventurous, the shores of the ocean.

In Michigan, as well as in much of the USA, we are obsessed with our automotive vehicles. Americans love their cars and often integrate this relationship into how they build their personal identities.

Seafaring Settlers

As we expand our journey, we arrive at the shoreline ready to continue our journey via sailing ships to “islands in a far sea”. (Epeli Hau‘ofa, 1993) Seafaring settlers from Europe brought with them their cultural view of land as wealth, a view that was steeped in the feudal system of early European heritage. Although their heartiness cannot be refuted, even the most experienced whaling seafarers had a healthy fear and respect for the power of the ocean and those mysterious creatures who inhabited it. Settlers with less experience with the sea often viewed it as a home to horrible sea monsters and other impetuous creatures who devoured those who dared challenge the sea’s authority.

Now, as we extend this perspective into modern American life along the coasts of the two great oceans, a shift occurs slightly in our view of travel as compared to Americans of the Midwest. The local coastal culture, with its oceans, travel by ship, and the history of early settlers, is steeped heavily in the folklore of the sea. As descendents of those settlers, we carry with us some of these same cultural prejudices of power and wealth as they relate to land mass, and a certain innate fear or awe for the ocean.

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Mapping Identities

Tiny Islands too small for a Map

Map (map), n., v., mapped, mapping.n. 1. a representation, usually on a flat surface, of the features of an area of ground, a portion of the heavens, etc., showing them their correct forms, sizes and relationships, according to some convention of representation. 4. off the map, out of existence; into oblivion.

In terms of land mass, our ideas of land ownership and power relate to size. Yes, we believe that size does indeed matter. Small amounts of land equals small amounts of power. This obsession with power and the size of land mass underlies our cultural perspective on islands and island people who we tend to view as being powerless, weak, and poor, all measured in terms of a 21st Century economy and geo-political system. The great oceans appear to be dotted with only tiny land masses between the great continents of Europe, Asia and the Americas.

A Tongan author, Dr. Epeli Hau’ofa suggested that the region should again be referred instead to as Oceania, rather than Pacific Islands, because the term Pacific “islands” he believed added to the perspective of Western belittlement. He described the Euro-American point of view as seeing these areas as “tiny islands in a great sea”. (Epeli Hau‘ofa, 1993: 7) A excellent example of this differing perspective is seen in the quote from the 19th Century book Fiji and the Fijians.

[The Fijian] looks with pleasure on a globe, as a representation of the world, until directed to contrast Fiji with Asia or America, when his joy ceases, and he acknowledges, with a forced smile, “Our land is not larger than the dung of a fly.” But on rejoining his comrades, he pronounces the globe “a lying ball”. (Thomas Williams, 1858;120-121)

How ironic this perception of the “lying ball” is when we read it in light of noted scientist/philosopher Buckminster Fuller’s invention of the Dymaxion Map in 1954 as a means of creating a more accurate representational map of the earth. He was indeed making a challenge to the 400-year-old Mercator map that is still used today and yet contains distortions that include landmasses such as Greenland being portrayed by as much as 60% larger than it actually is. (Bonnie G. DeVarco, WNET) The Fijian of 1858 may have been correct in calling it a “lying globe” afterall.

When we extend this idea of size to issues of general geographic areas, we might be amazed by the fact that The University of the South Pacific, a regional institution based in Suva, Fiji’s capital, and with centers around the Pacific Basin, serves a geographic area far larger than the entire United States.

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The Euro-American View of the Journey

The authors/anthropologists R.G. Ward and J.W. Webb came up with a rather distinct way of describing the differing viewpoints on the concept of the journey. In the European perspective, they describe it as follows:
“The European, at sea in a small vessel, tends to envisage his situation as one in which his craft moves towards, passes by, and then away from fixed islands... The risks and dangers of the sea [which] seem to weigh heavily in the minds of continental men...” (R.G. Ward, J.W. Webb: 1973)

We can see that in the “Euro-American” view, the ship travels across the ocean, passing stationary islands on its journey. Related to this perspective is the concept of movement and the journey. How does one conceive of travel? We climb into our car and drive from point A to point B. For our seafaring coastal folk, descendants of our great merchant whaling economy, they climbed aboard their sailing vessels and traveled across the oceans. We imagine ourselves moving, nay, we believe that we are moving and the islands are stationary, as we travel across what seems like an endless ocean, at the mercy of the winds, currents and sea creatures that hide beneath.

The Oceanic View of the Journey

Like the sea turtle, people of the Pacific see the ocean as an extension of their living space. In what I call the Oceanic perspective, we can journey via our sailing vessel across a “sea of islands”. (Epeli Hau‘ofa, 1993) In contrast to the European perspective, the Oceanic peoples lives are intertwined with the sea that surrounds them. To them, instead of seeing their land as being “tiny islands in a far sea”, they see themselves as living in what Dr. Hau’ofa describes as a “sea of islands”.

To the Oceanic man, to use Hau’ofa’s preferred term, the great sea is that of a highway, his main means of transporting himself from one area to another. Where volcanic mountains could be treacherous and difficult to traverse, he would put to sea in a small vessel to move from one point on an island to another, or to another nearby island. With a larger vessel, some as great as 300 feet, the people of Oceania had the means to travel great distances to find other people to trade with, or conquer.

To continue with Ward and Webb’s cultural perspective descriptions, they describe the Pacific Islander’s vessel as, once on course:

“...we may surmise that he might well sail east or north or south in search of a new land...confident in the belief that, as usual, islands would rise over the horizon to meet him.”
(R.G. Ward, J.W. Webb: 1973)

Their view of how the travel or “movement” in this case, actually occurred, is inverted in comparison to that of western “continental” man. To the Pacific Islander, once they were fully underway on their great voyage, the boat was viewed as remaining stationary, as the islands rose above the horizon to meet their ship and then pass by. I’m reminded of the story of Dr. Doolittle when the quirky animal-talking doctor reveals that he is preparing to journey to the legendary floating island.

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Shark: Evil threat or Powerful god?

shark1 (shärk), n. any of a group of elongate, elasmobranch, mostly marine, fishes, certain species of which are large and ferocious. [?]
shark2 (shärk), n. a person who preys greedily on others, as by cheating or usury. 2. Slang. A person who has unusual ability in a particular field. –v.i. 3. to live by shifts and stratagems. –v.i. 4. Archaic. To obtain by trickery and fraud; steal.

Enter the Shark as symbol of Power, Evil, or Protector

Is this a fear of the misunderstood? Upon extending this cross-cultural examination, we can learn even more about how this different view of the oceans and islands extends to other related subjects, in this case the Shark. Older than mankind, the shark is portrayed in legend and myth, as being the ubiquitous sea monster. Even in the Random House College Dictionary of 1973, the shark as described as “ferocious” with the word also being used to describe shysters and other deceitful attributes.

The Shark ~ a Hollywood View

It was with the 1975 film “JAWS” directed by Steven Spielberg and written by Peter Benchley when the shark reached new levels of stardom and notoriety. In “JAWS”, the shark is an evil that needs to be conquered, Satan incarnate. Probably no other movie in Hollywood history has done more to feed this practically inbred fear of the fierce great white shark. And, though historically shark attacks are very few, headlines across the United States proclaimed the shark’s power when there appeared to be a sudden rash of shark attacks off the coast of Florida in the late 1990s.

In parts of Australia, where a more realistic and closer relationship to the fiercest of sharks, the great white, exists, beaches are cordoned off with underwater nets that are meant to prevent beachcombers and sharks from intermixing.

Sharks ~ Exotic Entertainment

In what I describe as being akin to “Walt Disney meets Fear Factor”, tourists eager to feel the “thrill” of the danger of sharks without the actual threat are being offered more and more exotic forms of underwater entertainment. As if the thrill of danger needed further commodification, tourism destinations now sport “sharkfeeding” as entertainment for impatient scuba divers who prefer the bloodthirsty demonstration instead of the slow paced introspective underwater wilderness experience that many ecologically-minded scuba divers prefer.

Ironically, many tourist operators who grew up with traditional beliefs in shark gods area now involved in putting on high-priced shows for rich tourists visiting the Pacific for highspeed vacation thrills. Such is the case in the Marshall Islands, infamous for the Johnston Atoll and American nuclear testing. Their “show” was featured on Japanese television in order to lure tourists to the islands to view its Rongelap shark population. (Marshall Islands Journal 07-14 2000). And in Guam, a 2.5 inch thick wall of plexiglass protects visitors as they walk through an underwater tunnel in an 800,000 gallon aquarium so that they may witness sharkfeeds without getting wet. (Pacific Magazine, March/April 2000).

In another example, a custom in the Papua New Guinea villages of Kontu and Temblin has attracted outsiders’ attention after being revived by a Catholic priest along with local villagers. It has grown into an annual festival open to outside visitors as a means of both “preserving” traditional customs as well as providing some economic benefit to the villages. (Post-Courier/PINA Nius Online, 9-22-2002).

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Shark: Powerful Pacific god

For the “Island Man”, the shark represents a great power as well as a protector who is bargained with or feared. In many parts of the Oceanic region, the ancient shark takes on a persona that demands respect for its fierceness, but also reverence for its godlike powers.

Shark god of Fiji

In Fiji, the belief system commonly referred to there as the “old” religion includes many gods called Vu, some of whom descend from Man, some of whom existed before Man. They were given personalities akin to fierce warriors and powerful chiefs who jealously guarded their mana, or spirit power. One, in particular, a Shark god called Dakuwaqa, was considered to be the fiercest of all of the Vu’s. Through various legends, he was thought to be tied to the island of Taveuni, called the “garden island” by people there because of its particularly lush dense rainforests. Legends also describe the magical Tagimoucia flower that appears only at the edge of a small lake on the top of the mountain. The villagers of Somosomo on Taveuni island claim that their chiefs are descendants of Dakuwaqa.

Legend of a duel ~ Shark “Vu” versus Octopus “Vu”

Legend tells that after a particularly good time winning battles around the islands of Fiji, Dakuwaqa arrived in the Suva village area on the main island of Viti Levu where he fought with another fierce Vu. They caused such a turmoil in the sea that the large waves backed up the valley into the mountains creating the Rewa river, one of Fiji’s two main rivers on the main island. After this fun-filled day of sport, Dakuwaqa was feeling particularly good and went on to Beqa Island and met up with a lesser shark god who, feeling a little “cheeky”, told Dakuwaqa about this other Vu, a great octopus named Rokobakaniceva who guarded the reefs outside of Kadavu island further to the south and west. Dakuwaqa, not wanting it said that there was a more powerful Vu than he, went in search of the great Rokobakaniceva.

The story goes that the Octopus Vu was guarding the reef in wait, holding on with four of his eight legs. When Dakuwaqa came to challenge him, he grabbed him with his other four legs, squeezing him so tight that Dakuwaqa believed he might not survive. Just before he could be killed, Dakuwaqa squeeked out an offer: “let me go and I promise that I will never attack any islander from Kadavu, nor will any other sharks.” Rokobakaniceva agreed and let him go. To this day, Kadavu Islanders believe that they are safe from all shark attacks and, as a matter of ritual, pour a bilo (a polished half coconut shell) of yaqona (piper methysticum) or kava into the sea whenever they go out beyond the reef to fish. (A.W.Reed, Inez Hames 1993:83-85), (Cliff Benson 1983:61-62)

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Yanuca Story ~ a Modern Day Tragedy

In a syncretism of contemporary beliefs, sharks played a role in the modern funeral of a paramount chief, while also invoked by another lesser chief as punisher of some disobedient visitors. Taking a look at several relatively recent events in Fiji, we see an overlay of both the “old” religion and the new.

Yanuca Shark god

The first story takes place in 1992 when a group of Christian worshippers, Fijians who had embraced the word of more recent missionaries, formed a somewhat radical outcast sect of the Assemblies of God. They had lived in large village of mostly Methodists but when the Chief grew suspicious of their evangelical practices, he had the group thrown out of the village. They moved further down the Queens Highway to live in the Deuba area in a settlement of Solomon Islanders.
In an odd mix of Christianity and old Fijian mythology, they would make the journey to Yanuca Island in Beqa Lagoon to pray in a cave they believed was inhabited by their god (Vu) and where they believed their ancestors were buried. As a matter of geography, Yanuca is the smaller sister island of Beqa where a small shark god Vu had met up with Dakuwaqa in the original legend and prodded him to challenge the Octopus. The worshippers, on an earlier trip to Yanuca, were asked by the Yanuca Chief never to return. He also shared the same suspicions of the evangelicals as the village Chief did on the main island.

The group of worshippers still went back to the cave on Yanuca, led by a family that included a Minister, his wife and three children. In total, there were 22 people traveling the 9-mile trip across Beqa Lagoon to Yanuca island in a very small 18 foot fiberglass open fishing boat called a punt. Its usual capacity is about 8 adults. The trip, however, ended in tragedy.
At about 5 pm on a Friday evening, an hour before sundown, the boat capsized as a wave tipped over the overloaded boat only half way through its voyage, and nearly 5 miles from any shore. Seven people died, five of them small children under age 10. No life jackets or other floatable items were on board. As for the survivors, it would be a long and arduous journey with the final rescue of some not coming until they had dragged themselves upon shore of the main island of Viti Levu on Sunday morning.

It was the reaction from the local villagers that was most interesting, however. Rather than the usual Fijian response to disaster where there is a great outpouring of grief, food, support, and money, much like in the USA, they instead shunned the survivors, sometimes bitterly chiding them for going against the Yanuca chief. In essence, they believed that the death of the children was their punishment from the Yanuca chief’s Vu, a small shark god, who the chief invoked to enforce his will. The confirmation of this, it seemed to them, was the rumor that followed. It was said that when the small punt finally settled upon shore at Pacific Harbour it was still upside down. But when it was finally put upright on shore, they found a small baby shark trapped underneath it. (M.J. Fulmer, 1992)

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A Modern Paramount Chief’s Funeral Rites

Ratu Sir George Penaia Ganilau was a statesmen, war veteran, politician and high chief in Fiji. He had carried Fiji through the throes of independence and helped lead it through its growing pains as a developing nation. As President of Fiji and 13th Tui Cakau (High Chief of the Cakaudrove Confederacy), he was highly respected by all citizens of this country. He was also from the Methodist village of Somosomo on the island of Taveuni and therefore considered a descendant of Dakuwaqa.

Upon his death from leukemia on December 14, 1993, at the Walter Reed Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, his body was flown back to Fiji for the traditional funeral rites. It began with the six hour-long procession from the International airport in Nadi to the capital of Suva on the other side of the island where it lie in state for several days.

Guarding along the way were both men in modern military dress as well as traditional warriors, called bati leka, who prevented anyone from trespassing into the path that were not supposed to be there. Some exceptions, because Ganilau was also a head of state, were made for the press. In addition, traditional gravediggers, called liga tabu (who only would dig graves for the Tui Cakau), worked along side specially selected members of the military to create the tomb called the Sau Tabu.

The chief was then transported by ferry back to his home village of Somosomo on Taveuni. Immediately, a tabu was placed on all fishing around the entire country. It was later reduced to just around the island of Taveuni. But the Fijians believed that it was important to follow the tabu because if one were to break it, they risked not only the wrath of other Fijians, but also an attack by the shark gods who were accompanying the chief’s body back to his island. Due to the familial relationship with Dakuwaqa, it was believed that for the area specifically surrounding the Somosomo Village, the tabu would be strictly enforced because the shark gods were calling to pay homage to the mana of the Tui Cakau. (The Fiji Times, 1994), (Mara J. Fulmer, 1995)

Great Feasts and Three Stages of Separation

After the initial major funeral ceremonies that included 6000 guests, additional rituals were performed after 10 days, then every 10 days, up to 100 days after the initial burial. Another ceremony was then held on the one-year anniversary when a special ritual (Vakataraisulu) that included an effigy, called a Lalawa ni mate, would be performed. Distinguished guests were present, such as relatives from the royal family of Tonga. At this ceremony, there was the third stage of “rebirth” for the family who would remove their black clothing after the initial ceremony of guests throwing whales tooth (tabua) at the foot of the effigy. The family would then re-emerge dressed in colorful clothing and celebrations would begin.
In addition to the rituals of the funeral, the Tui Cakau’s traditional fishermen, called matapule would be called upon to catch sea turtles for feeding all of the guests. They endured a one month of preparation before going on their fishing trip, practicing certain tabus such as obstaining from sex and alcohol. In the end, only five were able to go on the fishing trip. The rest had broken the tabus.

All of these rituals were performed in a manner that was complemented by traditional Methodist Christian funeral rites, as well as additional deference to practices normally considered appropriate for a head of state, such as a 21 gun salute, military participation in building the funeral tomb, etc.

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Other Shark Stories

As discussed earlier, sharks have taken on different significance depending upon modern needs and beliefs. A cultural clash occasionally occurs such as in the case of a recent international fishing ban on sharks. Due to an increased demand for shark fins in modern Chinese society where it is considered a delicacy, sharks are caught as part of a “secondary” catch on fishing boats. The issues of sharks and spiritual beliefs has had an impact on contemporary economics and politics in the west leading to international efforts to change the practice. While the various government powers debate issues such as longline versus widenet tuna fishing, “dolphin” friendly canned tuna, until recently the depletion of the shark population has gone along without much notice or sympathy. Afterall, most in the west would consider depleting sharks a good thing. However, a large market still exists that places a huge demand for shark fins used in various potions and as a delicacy in soup in the hugely populated country of China. Sharks are brought on board with the rest of the catch, their fins chopped off and the still live shark is tossed back into the sea to drown. While this could result in a threat to the delicate balance of the ocean’s ecosystem, it also poses a threat to the spiritual beliefs of modern Oceanic people. (Colin Woodard, 12-8-1999)

‘Aumakua of Hawai‘i

This issue has become more critical to Oceanic peoples such as in the westernized Hawai‘i where a relatively recent re-emergence of their native culture has lead many native Hawai‘ians to speak out. In Hawai‘i, a similar deference to the shark god exists, as in Fiji, but more as a family totem. It is considered in very poor taste to ask a Hawai‘ian family what their ‘aumakua is, but many families include the shark as their own.

It was recently reported by a curious observer of the practice about the sharing of one’s spearfishing catch with the ‘aumakua. The young Hawai‘ian spear fisherman was swimming below and would seemingly throw away every other fish he caught. But upon further investigation, it was learned that he was actually feeding his ‘aumakua who he believed would in turn protect him from any potential shark attack. (Katherine Nichols, 7-14-2001)

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Above & Below: Comparing the Symbols of Peace

peace (pes), n.v. 11. keep the peace, to maintain public order. 13. make peace, to ask for or arrange a cessation of hostilities or antagonism.
peace offering, 1. a sacrifical offering made in order to assure Communion with God. Ex. 20:24; Lev. 7:11-18. 2. any offering made to procure peace.

As the fear or reverence for the sea and the sharks that inhabit it may be influenced by the geographic origins of the cultural group, so may they also influence our choice for symbols for peace. Like an M.C. Escher picture, the symbols of peace by Oceanic cultures both mirror and match those of “continental” cultures in the use of roots and branches, or the sea and sky.

A Western Peace Offering

Most Americans, without even thinking twice, will recite the symbols of peace as being that of the Dove or the Olive Branch. Both symbols come from “above” the land that our western culture covets so dearly. The dove extends from the biblical stories of Noah and the great flood, while even the United Nations incorporates an olive branch into its logo.

A Fijian Peace Offering

However, in the Fijian version of the Peace offering, the source of the symbols is reversed. Instead, the tabua (Sperm Whale’s Tooth) is used for peace offerings, to seal a deal, arrange an agreement, etc. In addition, yaqona (a.k.a. kava) is presented in a bouquet of roots as an offering for peace and reconciliation. (M.J. Fulmer, 1996) Symbols of peace in Oceania, derive from “under” the sea and land. Is it possible that this dichotomy between the Continental and Island man’s symbols of peace may also relate to their concepts of Heaven and Hell? Good and Evil?

Summary and Conclusion

While we can make isolated examinations of different cultures, the issue of geographical origins must be considered in the context of comparing differing cultural perspectives. And, in contemporary sociological context, these differing perspectives cannot be ignored as to their impact on world politics and modern nation building. It is the intention of this writer to continue research on comparative cultural issues, especially in the context of Oceanic versus Continental cultures to learn how these issues shape the relationships between peoples of different geopolitical backgrounds. And, while missionaries have been generally effective in their conversion of native groups in Oceania, “Old” beliefs continue to thrive and be utilized to great effect in general society. Therefore, these differing cultural perspectives must be re-examined in the modern context of a global community and the re-emergence of traditional cultural practices.

~ Mara Jevera Fulmer, April 2003, Grand Blanc, Michigan

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Appendix A: Pertinent Maps

1. Shepard Map of Explorers 1340-1600 “The Age of Discovery”

2. Map of Oceania

3. World Map of 1820 with Mercator Projection.

4. Satellite Image (NASA) of Southern Hemisphere with Australia.

5. Map of Fiji (with Rotuma)

6. Map of Kadavu Island (in Fiji), 1889.

7. Buckminster Fuller’s Dymaxion Map

a. Original Projection -

b. Projection with Satellite imagery applied -

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Appendix B: Fijian Definitions and Pronunciations

1. Bati Leka ~ mbah•tee leh•kah. Traditional Fijian warriors.

2. Beqa ~ mBen•ggah. A larger island in Beqa Lagoon.

3. Bilo ~ mBee•loh. A polished half coconut shell used as a cup to serve Kava.

4. Dakuwaqa ~ nDah•koo•wahn•ggah. Paramount Shark god.

5. Deuba ~ nDay•oo•mbah. Village on the main island of Viti Levu near Beqa Lagoon.

6. Kava ~ Kah•vah. Same as Yaqona.

7. Lalawa ni mate ~ Lah•lah•wah nee mah•tay. An effigy of the dead used in the one-year anniversary ceremony.

8. Liga Tabu ~ lee•nngah tah•boo. Traditional gravediggers who only dig graves for the Tui Cakau.

9. Mana ~ mah•nah. The spirit, power, energy of a chief. Only chiefs have mana.

10. Matapule ~ Mah•tah•poo•lay. Traditional fisherman whose job it is to catch sea turtles for the feast of a Vakataraisulu (one-year ceremony) for the Tui Cakau.

11. Nadi ~ Nahn•dee. Second largest city on the main island of Viti Levu. Tourism is centered there and the largest International airport is located there.

12. Ratu Sir George Penaia Ganilau ~ Pen•ay•a GNnah•ni•la•u. Ratu is a chiefly title given to anyone with a chiefly rank.

13. Rokobakaniceva ~ Roh•kohm•bah•kah•nee•they•vah. Octopus god of Kadavu.

14. Sau Tabu ~ Sow Tah•mboo. A special above-ground tomb built only for the Tui Cakau

15. Tabu ~ Tahm•boo. Prohibition on an activity.

16. Tabua ~ Tahm•boo•ah. A sperm whale’s tooth, using strung from woven coconut sinnet and presented as an important gift to request forgiveness or mark a special occasion between families.

17. Tagimoucia ~ Tan•nngee•mo•u•thee•ah. A rare flowering plant that only grows on the top of the Taveuni mountain alongside Lake Tagimoucia.

18. Tui Cakau ~ Too•ee Tha•kow. Paramount Chief of the Cakaudrove Confederacy.

19. Vakataraisulu ~ Vah•kah•tah•rah•ee•soo•loo. Ceremony performed on the one-year anniversary of the funeral of the Tui Cakau.

20. Vu ~ Voo. A traditional god of the old religion of Fiji.

21. Yanuca ~ Ya•noo•tha. An island in Beqa Lagoon.

22. Yaqona ~ Yah•Nggoh•nah. A plant (and drink) whose roots are used to make a slightly narcotic drink used in ceremonial circumstances, and more recently, social occasions.

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Appendix C: References Cited.

Benson, Cliff, Pacific Folk Tales, Desai Bookshops Ltd., Suva, Fiji, 1983

Christian Science Monitor, December 8, 1999, Colin Woodard, “JAWS: The New Cause of the Seas”, Honolulu, Hawai‘i

DeVarco, Bonnie Goldstein; “Dymaxion Air-Ocean World Map”,

The Fiji Times, January 3, 1994; Suva, Fiji, misc. articles including:
Kakaivalu, Samisoni, “Rest in Peace,” “There’s Been Nothing Like It”; Matau, Robert, “I’ll tell my children”;
January 6th, 1995; Makutu, Amelia, “It’s Over! Adi Mei is relieved it went so well”, “Year’s mourning ends in Revelry”
January [?], 1995; Makutu, Amelia, “Ancient Rites set for Ratu Penaia today,” “All’s set for Taveuni meals,” “Turtle Catchers Recalled to Duty”

Fiji Visitors Bureau, “Dakuwaqa the Shark god”,

Fulmer, Mara, Master’s Thesis, “Symbols & Patterns of Grassroots Culture in the Fiji Islands”, Syracuse University, 1996

Fulmer, Mara, Personal Field Notes, “Fiji President Dies”, February 1993, “Island Gods, Island Tragedies”, August 1992, Pacific Harbour, Fiji

Hau‘ofa, Dr. Epeli; Our Sea of Islands, A New Oceania: Rediscovering Our Sea of Islands, SSED, The University of the South Pacific, Suva, Fiji, 1993

Honolulu Advertiser, January 14, 2001, Katherine Nichols, “Sharks as ‘Aumakua in Hawai‘i”, Honolulu, Hawai‘i

Marshall Islands Journal, July 14, 2000, “Forget about Bombs: Rongelap Draws Diver Raves”, Majuro, Marshall Islands

Pacific Magazine, March/April 2000, “Walking with Sharks and Other Guam ‘Friendlies’”, Honolulu, Hawai‘i

Post-Courier/PINA Nius Online, September 22, 2002, “PNG’s New Islanders Prepare to Call Sharks”, Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea.

Reed, A.W. and Inez Hames, Myths & Legends of Fiji & Rotuma, Reed Books, 1993

Stein, Jessie, ed.; The Random House College Dictionary, New York, 1975

Ward, R.G. and J.W. Webb, The Settlement of Polynesia, ANU Press, Canberra, 1973

Williams, Thomas; Fiji and the Fijians, Vol. 1: The Islands and Their Inhabitants; (First published London, 1858), Reprinted by the Fiji Museum, Suva, Fiji, 1985

Zung, Thomas T.K., ed.; Buckminster Fuller: Anthology for a New Millennium, St. Martin’s Griffin, New York, 2002


Additional References:

Deverall, Bruce, ed., Pacific Rituals: Living or Dying, IPS, Suva, Fiji, 1986

Gittins, Anne, Tales of the Fiji Islands, Hants, UK, 1991

Mahoney, John D., S.S.C., Frank Hoare S.S.C., ed., Mission and Ministry in Fiji, Columban Fathers, Samabula, Fiji, 1994

Quanchi, Max, Ron Adams, eds, Culture Contact in the Pacific, Cambridge, 1993

Ravuvu, Asesela, Vaka I Taukei, The Fijian Way of Life, The University of the South Pacific, Suva, Fiji, 1983


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2003 © Mara Jevera Fulmer • All Rights Reserved • • last revised: 23-Apr-2005