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


Fijians (Kai-Fiji, Kai-Viti), the inhabitants of the Fiji Archipelago, South Pacific Ocean, who occupy a somewhat intermediate position between the black populations (Melanesians) of the western groups (Solomons, New Hebrides, New Caledonia, etc.), and the large brown Polynesians of the eastern groups (Samoa, Tonga, Tahiti, Hawaii, etc.), The Aborigines appear to have been distinctly Melanesians, who have been variously modified by contact with Polynesian intruders, especially from Tonga; hence they now exhibit every shade of transition between the two types, black colour and frizzly hair predominating in the western, brown and lank hair in the eastern members of the group. In general they are a large, muscular race, and although formerly pronounced cannibals, display more intelligence, physical and mental energy than any other "group of South Sea Islanders. The language, which belongs to the Melanesian branch of the Malayo-Polynesian family, is spoken in as many as fifteen distinct dialects, of which four have been reduced to writing by the missionaries;

the literary standard is the Mbau of the Rewa delta, south-east coast of Viti Levu, and into this the Bible has been translated. Viti and Fiji are the same word, the Melanesian / of the western group being replaced in the eastern group by v introduced from Tonga. Before the British annexation (1874) the Mbau were the ruling people, and it was their king, Thako-mbau, who ceded the archipelago to England. There were forty distinct tribes altogether, of whom the most powerful, next to the Mbau, were the Mbena, Mba, Narua Nadroga, Vudd, Rakeraki, Vura, Mbua, Mucuata, Cucadrove, and Lakemba; total population (1891), 121,000, of whom 106,000 are Fijians proper. (Waterhouse, Fiji, its King and. People; Miss Gordon Cumming, At Home in Fiji, J882; De Ricci, Fiji; Calvert and Williams, Fiji and the Fijians.)