Tuesday, October 03, 2006
Qoliqoli - a cultural view
I found an excellent website from a Convention on Bio-diversity in the South Pacific and here are some excerpts that provide a cultural view of qoliqoli.
For Pacific Island peoples, the land and the sea are an extension of each other. As one commentator has noted: “The marine environment is viewed conceptually as forming part of the land, and the principles of marine tenure differ little if any from land tenure. …land and all that grows upon it, together with the people who derive their sustenance from it, are one and indivisible in many South Pacific Island communities. Adjacent reefs and intervening lagoons, mangroves and estuaries are seen as integral components of that land, not as distinct entities separated from land from a certain tidal level”...
The Sea has always been a source of food for many Fijians but until recently activity was generally confined to the in-shore areas of the main reefs, and has been subsistent in character (Ravuvu, 1983:34). For thousands of years our ancestors have lived off the ocean whose reefs have been and still are home to a wide range of marine life. The people affinity with the land is, therefore, not merely land-based, but literally extends beyond the shores to encompass the ocean and the reefs that surrounds Fiji (ibid, 1-3). The reef is an essential element that ensures the very survival of the indigenous Fijians.
The picture of Fijians fishing near the shore was taken from a Fiji calendar.