Fijian Culture and History

Once renowned as the ‘Cannibal Isles,’ Fiji is now better known for its friendly, easy-going people and warm generosity.

Fijian cultural visit with Volivoli Beach Resort, Fiji

Fijian cultural visit with Volivoli Beach Resort, Fiji

Immigration and colonisation have seen the country develop into a fascinating blend of cultures including Melanesian, Polynesian, Indian, European and Chinese. This cultural mix creates a rewarding diversity that is reflected in the variety of food, languages and traditions.

The Fiji archipelago was first settled about three and a half thousand years ago by the Lapita people. Linguistic studies have shown that they may have come from Vanuatu or the eastern Solomon Islands.

During the 19th century, Fiji developed into a trade centre for the South Pacific and in 1874 the country became a colony of Britain. Between 1879 and 1916 Indians came to Fiji as indentured laborers to work on the colonial sugar plantations.

After the indentured system was abolished, many Indians remained as business people and independent farmers. Fiji gained independence from Britain in 1970.

Unlike many other countries, the indigenous people have not lost their traditions and some aspects of life today are as they were a hundred years ago.

Traditional Fijian society is based on communal principles developed from village life. The people of a village share the obligations and benefits of community life and are still led by a hereditary chief. Everyone in a village works together to grow crops, prepare food and build homes.

This communal system works as an extended family unit that allows no-one to go hungry or uncared for.

Come along on a Fijian Village Visit!