Monday, February 20, 2006

The Stones of Wasavulu

From Peceli

When we were children we fetched coconuts in a place called Wasavulu (wasa means the deep ocean, vulu means a special place for the god). It is a walking distance from the main village of Nasekula where I lived from aged eight to sixteen. Wasavulu was originally a village but was abandoned. Then there only remained many large stones, some fallen, some standing. As children we had no fear of this place and just played there and fetched coconuts.

Many years later when I revisited the place, after learning of its meaning, there was a very different feeling for me, a kind of awe, a sense of this place being important. We call this mana, a kind of spiritual power in the land. This is now considered a historical site and under the National Trust of Fiji as a site of archaelogical value.

It is about two kilometres out of Labasa near a grove of banyan trees and the Korotari Road. The large stones are still there, some upright, some fallen. It used to be tabu to women, although today the tabu has been lifted and occasionally tourists interested in anthropology or Fijian history go there. One story of Wasavulu says that two female gods brought the stones over the mountains of Vanua Levu to this place. The stones are set into a rectangular shape on a platform. Whether it was a place for a temple and rites to do with fertility of the land, or whether it was about training warriors, we do no know.

There are similar stones are in other parts of Fiji, such as Namosi in Viti Levu and also in India where they are called Naga stones and have something to do with snakes.

Now the Wasavulu village is being developed again. They have built a new church there which is very large. Gradually the descendants of people who once lived in this area are returning.


Pandabonium said...

That's fascinating. I'd like to see that.

Hawaiian uses the same word, "mana", for spiritual power.

Anonymous said...

I read a lot of history and remember the Fijian Society - a group of European historians who wrote about this cult called the naga which worshipped snake Gods in the interior of Viti Levu. Their temples were used for young Fijian warriors marking their ascension into the ranks of the fighting units.

Peceli and Wendy's Blog said...

Thank you for your interest in our blog.
I would have missed your comment, but we do get notification of comments.
We can write again with more info about the Wasavulu site and a couple more pics.