Friday, February 10, 2006
Building a chief's house in Naduri
One day we visited our elderly relative Sakaria in Naseakula village and he told us about the little bird in the forest near Naduri and he sang two versions of a song about Ra Qiqi and the building of a chief's house in Naduri.
During the 1940s Sakaria was part of a house-building project to build a new house for the high chief in Naduri down the coast from Labasa. They went into the forest to find the most suitable timber and only when the little forest bird, the white-eye, called, they knew that they had found the right tree. The men cut down the tree and chanted as they hauled the logs. The fine chief's house was builtd and named Bolatagane which means 'The House of the Strong'. Naduri is the village of the chief of Macuata
Traditionally the the duru or bou, the king post, has to have a human sacrifice. A man is buried with the king post. While they were building they chanted as they placed the kingpost in the hole and a man Epeli was thrown down. Luckily a young chief Kini Jioji from Labasa growled at them and he pulled the man out just before the king post was pushed down. Kini Jioji said, 'Sa gauna na Lotu!' This means we are Christians. No more human sacrifice!
In the Fiji Museum in Suva are two door posts carved as a man and a woman and the sign says they come from a chief's house in Naduri. The photo Wendy took of them did not come out. Today in Naduri the remains of the chief's house are left undisturbed and this is a tabu site.