Wednesday, July 26, 2006
The baka banyan tree in Fiji
One of the most interesting trees in Fiji is the baka or banyan tree, also known as the Justice Tree and sometimes the Strangler Fig tree as it seeds from the top of a tree and creates long aerial roots that eventually enclose the host tree. There are several baka trees in Suva, in the Navua area, and in most towns in Fiji. It has various connotations and some people are frightened of the sea-weed like aerial roots and the appearance of a kind of dark cave at the base of the tree. The Justice Tree as a name is an interesting idea and it was so-named because back in India and some other Asian countries business deals were transacted beneath these trees and held to be binding. Merchants were called 'banian'.