Thursday, June 29, 2006

The floating island near Labasa


A house guest, Pita from Sydney, told me a story today about the floating island in Macuata. Pita is from Vunivutu village, east of Labasa. He said that it is within the village of Nubu, over an hour’s bus drive from Labasa, going east, there is a small lake with a floating island about the size of a large house. It is made of thick tangled reeds such as kuta and is called Nawaqakuta which means the Kuta reed boat. Kuta is a type of reed. The island is so-named because it moves like a boat. Pita said that a traditional priest, a bete, chants beside the lake and the island moves. Eventually it stops and sits beside the hard land. The people don't go swimming in this lake and it is rather shallow.

The only references I found to a floating island in a lake in this area is named as Nakelikoso, which is a village not far from Nubu. Today a road goes to Nubu. Before, access was by boat and river. The local people do not go near the lake because they are a bit frightened about it, Pita said. But when the priest performs his chant a group of people can stand on the floating island.

13 comments:

laminar_flow said...

Read a snippet of that 'floating island' in one of school text books called Link 4.

Wendy have you heard of the 3 sisters mountain in Labasa? I'm sure Peceli has a story on that.

Peceli and Wendy's Blog said...

I said,'Are there stories about the Three Sisters mountains?'
He said, 'If I tell you any, you'll put it on the blog, so we keep some things to ourselves! Only joking!'
I said, 'I only know the one about the two goddesses carrying the stones from Cakaudrove to Wasavulu.'
He said,'That's fantasy!'
Pita said, 'We had a goddess in Vunivutu. She did not like men, just women. Something like Zena!'
Okay, Laminar, I'll keep searching for stories.
W.

tomvakameau said...

@ the name three sisters was taken from that of the three sisters overlooking the Jamison valley in australia. Some people says the story of the Labasa three sister mount is somewhat similar to that of Aussie.

But the Original name of the three sister mount in Labasa is "Uluibau"

It is the burial grave of one of bauan high chief

Peceli and Wendy's Blog said...

Bula si'a Tom,
Can you give us a fuller story and explanation about the Three Sisters mountains please?
W.

Anonymous said...

i heard there used to be three floating islands..what happened to the other two...

Peceli and Wendy's Blog said...

Anon i - mouse!
Haven't you got a real name?
About the three floating islands, well Peceli said he has only seen one. And he told me a story this morning about it when I told him you had commented.
Visitors from Narewa in Nadi were visiting Macuata and were at Nubu and the hosts showed them the floating island. They stepped on it and it floated across the water. They were talking in Narewa dialect and the island suddenly stopped. The local man said this was because of the dialect and so he called out, sorry, and then the island moved back again. Well, that's the story.
w.

Anonymous said...

hey Peceli...lol...hw r u kai?..well, i am also from vatudova..my name is Krish ..da other side of the hill...u may knw the beacon on the hills overlooking the sea. I rememba our village head but i forgot his name..Matai?/or sumthing. i visited the nukutava beach recently and was amazed to see the new bible school..and thea r sum plans to build a resort near the old koro at the beach. i hve fond memories of vatudova...ofcourse i was born thea as well..well done kai..moce.

Anonymous said...

Floating Island is one of the greaest tourist attractions.I was brought up in Nakelikoso and have been to the floating Island a number of times as a child.There was countless times we had tourists stop and ask us for directions to the Island.We would go along with them because it is so hard to find the place for someone new to the place.It is a truely amazing site.It is something thats beyond comprehension as to how it works.I just wish the government would take some initiative to put some signs to help find the place.Anyone that takes the effort to go there will not be dissapointed.Yes there used to be 3 islands floating ,but last I saw there was only one floating with the other 2 stationary.
Sorry guys, I have a couple of corrections on your story.We were never scared to be there.It's simple,treat the place with respect and there is no problems.Things like spitting around the place is just something that is disrespectful.Anyone can make the island move as long as they believe in it.Also,the lake is not shallow by any means.The depth of the lake is unkown.There is no sign of land under the water as far as the eye can see.
I can't stress enough as to how amazing this place is.

Peceli and Wendy's Blog said...

Thanks for your comments 'Anonymous'. We got the story mainly from Pita who lives not far away from the floating islands. You are right - Labasa is slack in advertising interesting places for visitors. Need a brochure with a map to find places such as the floating islands, the hot springs, the snake temple and any other places that are of interest to tourists in the Lsbasa area. Just brochures put into the hotels for a starter wouldn't cost much, and then good road signs. I laughed when I read a Fiji news item saying the council were spending $70,000 on paving in Labasa town which would encourage tourism to Labasa!
w.

kawaleva said...

Anonymous bula siaa kai au mai Vunivesi All these stories are wonderful it reminds me of my childhood there is onother twist to the story. There were 4 'floating islands'. The 4th one is on ahilltop in Nasiviaga still water comming of it today. Thats onother story. Moce.

kawaleva said...

Peceli bula siaa au o Keni mai Nakelikoso family farm across the river in Vunivesi. Thanks for identifying Macuata to the world

Anonymous said...

April 7th ,2014

we were in Fiji and visited Labasa as well. I saw the 3 sisters mountains and would like to know the story behind that. pls someone.

shyamal said...

Labasa is awesome. I'm going in late September. Excited.