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This is a Must Get Book!!

NA  VUKU NI VANUA—WISDOM OF THE LAND: Aspects of Fijian Knowledge, Culture and History, Vol. 1

by  Tupeni Baba, Emitai Boladuadua, Tevita Ba, Wasevina Vatuloka & Unaisi Nabobo Baba(Editors), Native Academy Publishers, Suva, Fiji (2014)        

A new book on Fijian wisdom is now out, and is written wholly by a group of senior Indigenous Fijian scholars, researchers and educators!

The blurb of the book reads: ‘In over 4000 years of indigenous habitation of the islands of Viti or Fiji, a few works have been penned by indigenous insiders of Fiji, and in a collection totally devoted to documenting, expressing and registering all aspects of Fijian life: culture, language, expression and heritage. This work is seminal and is therefore an essential reference in things indigenous.

The book heralds a cultural and intellectual renaissance that for indigenous Fijians, irrespective of whether they are in Fiji or abroad; the challenges this collection poses are indescribable. The simplicity and matter of fact approach of the research pieces and the eloquence of   creative and literary articles, all point to the presence of an indigenous Fijian world and world news. Without an understanding of Fijian world view, its knowledge, epistemologies and perspectives, much of what we read, hear and take for granted about Fiji, could be subject to challenge’.

The book is a collection of research and creative works   produced by an Institute of Indigenous Studies of Fiji (IISF) or Lololo ni Vanua. The Institute was formed in 2007, specifically to enhance and promote the study of Indigenous Fijian culture and development, Language and heritage through indigenous research and writing.

The idea of the Institute responded to the concern at the scarcity of materials that were specifically written and researched by indigenous Fijians about their own history, their culture, language, heritage and values. It was felt that much of what had been written about Fiji and its peoples were done by outsiders. It was felt that this imbalance had to be addressed, notably by indigenous Fijians and Rotumans.

This way, much of what is regarded as an integral part of Fiji, especially its indigenous past: its cultures, traditions, knowledge and heritage, should be documented and made available for future generations. This is being done here by way of indigenous research methodology   that ensures that the integrity of the views and interpretations of our past and our present are carefully recorded for present and future generations.

The decolonizing approach of the book is evident and is consistent with the approach being undertaken by other indigenous writers and scholars such  the Maoris in New Zealand, the Aborigines of Australia and other first nations peoples in Canada and United States and in Europe and Asia.

The book consists of research and creative and literary pieces  encompassing a wide range of topics: from topics of ancient wars; to philosophical topics about silence(vakanomodi) and yalomatua (wisdom); from an insider ethnographical account of places to early accounts of teaching in a rural community; from accounts of  migration and settlement of  some islands in distant Lau to accounts of traditional justice system in central Fiji; from a detailed account of cannibalism  to an account of the education and life of a church leader and former President of the Methodist Church in Fiji.

Similarly, the range of creative and literary pieces are diverse but the underlying features of these are the passion, the subtle Fijian humor and even the outright hilarity of some of the pieces, and they are laid out there as if the reader is being treated to a sumptuous feast.

Each research piece or literary article stands on its own and it conveys its own integrity and distinctiveness, but together as a whole, the collection or book presents a feast of insights from indigenous Fijian knowledge and wisdom from among Fiji’s top indigenous educators and scholars.


The books are now available from the following booksellers:

The University of the South Pacific Bookshop

Ph: (679) 323 2500, 323 2405 Fax: (679) 323 1547




The Methodist Church Bookshop, Suva Fiji

11 Stewart Street, GPO Box 354 Suva Fiji

Phones     (679) 3311466 / 3311477 

Fax          (679) 3300802


Website  and the


Institute for Indigenous Studies of Fiji (IISF)

Education House,68 Knollys Street

Ph: 3315099 | 3561511; Fax: 3304978

Email:  | 



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