Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Fiji, a group of islands in the South Pacific Ocean, which have lately come into prominence on account of their having been ceded to England. They lie betweenlat. l5° 30' to 19° 30' S., and long. 177° to 178° W. Of the 260 islands only 80 are inhabited, and the whole group is divided into two groups, the Eastern and the Western. The two largest of the islands are Viti Levu and Vanua Levu, and there are about a dozen other important islands. The islands are volcanic in origin, and there are basaltic peaks some thousands of feet in height. Rich foliage covers the islands, which are surrounded by coral reefs, and have shores sometimes precipitous, sometimes covered with fine coral sand. The soil is fertile, and produces abundantly cocoa-nut palm, bread-fruit, and banana. Among cultivated productions are the orange, yam, maize, tobacco, and sugar-cane. There are some good timber trees. The pig is much used for food, and fish and birds are plentiful. One great industry is the preparation of copra. The people often live in palisaded towns, each of which has one, if not more, spirit house for the worship of a deity. The chief towns are Sava, Vanua, and Levuka, which has a good harbour. It was in 1874 that England, after repeated offers from 1859 downwards, accepted the government of the islands.