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A STUDY OF THE DECAY OF CUSTOM

The posts and the beams of this house were all of pandanus trunks. In this house, therefore, abode their chief, and he called the whole land Nakauvandra Pandanus Tree to be a memorial of the first house built there which was built of pandanus trunks. And therefore, the country is called Nakauvandra even to this day. Although, as I have said, this commentary is to be received with caution, there can be no doubt that a few years ago there were still to be found on the north-east coast of Vitilevu fragmentary traditions of a voyage to Fiji undertaken by the personages mentioned in the poem, and the name, Vunda, which is still attached to the north-western corner of Vitilevu certainly indicates that it was the earliest settlement of some party of immigrants.

It would, indeed, be strange if the westerly winds, that sometimes blow steadily for days together during the summer months, had not brought castaway canoes to a group of islands which cover five degrees of longitude. Instead of one arrival there must have been several, and whether Ndengei came in the first or a later company is not important. The subsequent superiority of Ndengei as a Kalou-Vu over his chief Lutu-na-sombasomba may be accounted for by his heroic exploits in the great civil war that divided Nakauvandra as related in the epic of Nakavandra which is given in another chapter.

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In attempting to fix a date for the first Melanesian settlement in Fiji the widest field lies open to the lover of speculation, for it is unlikely that when a few years have passed, and the last guardians of tradition have made way for young Fiji, any fresh evidence will come to light. The only monuments of a past age are rude earthworks in the form of moats and house foundations, a few stone enclosures known as nanga , no older than the period covered by tradition, and a stone cairn or two erected by the worshippers of the luve-ni-wai.

The Melanesians buried their dead in their own houses if they were chiefs, leaving the house to fall to ruin over them; in the open if they were commoners, or in limestone caves wherever there were to be found, and there is no trace of tombs or hewn stone such as are found in Tonga and other islands colonized by Polynesians. Until the stalagmitic floors of the limestone caves have been examined systematically it is not safe to say that Paleolithic Man never inhabited the islands, but it is at least very unlikely.

The earliest trace of human occupation [Pg 11] yet discovered is a polished hatchet found in alluvial deposit on the bank of the River Mba about twelve feet below the surface, during excavations carried out in the erection of a sugar mill; but in a river subject to heavy annual floods, during which great quantities of soil are brought down from the hills, the depth is no proof of age. In the island of Waya Yasawa a cache of polished hatchets was discovered in Three of these were gouge-shaped for cutting away the wood on the inside of canoes or drums, and of elaborate finish, but there was nothing to show that they were of ancient date.

On the other hand, if the islands were peopled from a single immigration as native traditions seem to show, or even by successive arrivals of castaway canoes, many centuries would be required to raise the population to a total of , The widespread bond of tauvu between tribes speaking different dialects, and already showing divergence of type as in the cases of Nayau and Notho, and Mbau and Malake, sets back the original immigration many generations. There is nothing in Fijian tradition corresponding to Mr.

Fornander's discovery in Hawaiian myth of a culture among the early immigrants superior to their condition when Europeans first came among them. Fornander believes that the Polynesians were acquainted with metals in their old home and navigated in large vessels built of planks. Their degeneracy was the natural result of their new surroundings, for if we were to take a number of European craftsmen, carpenters, smiths and fitters, and transport them with their families to an island destitute of metals, where they would be cut off from renewing their tools when worn out, we should find them in the second generation with nothing left of their former culture but the tradition, and perhaps the name of the metals their fathers used.

This was the case with the Hawaiians. The tradition survived, and they had a name for the iron tools which they saw in the hands of their Europeans visitors. But the Fijians had no name for metal. Their first iron tools were brought to them by the Tongans, and they adopted the Tongan name, with the prefix of Ka , "thing—" Ka-ukamea Kaukamea , "iron thing," just as their name for Europeans— Vavalangi [Pg 12] —was taken from the Tongans from whom they first learned of the existence of the white race.

It is impossible to discuss the age of the Melanesian settlement in Fiji without considering the traditional history of the Polynesians, and it is with real regret that I am driven to disagree with the bold conclusions of the principal authority on Polynesian history—Mr. Abraham Fornander. The industry and research which he has brought to bear upon the kinship of the Polynesians with the Cushite races of the old world have resulted in little more than the collection of a mass of undigested evidence.

There is no close chain of deduction to bind the whole, and nothing stands out from the confusion except the undoubted fact that the Polynesians are an offshoot from one of the ancient Asiatic races, and that they reached their present widely scattered abodes by way of the Malay Archipelago. If Mr. As it is I shall confine my criticism to the portion of his argument based upon Fiji, and leave the rest of his work to be reviewed by Polynesian ethnologists.

Fornander's temptation lay in knowing Hawaii thoroughly, the other Polynesian groups imperfectly, and Fiji not at all. Making his deduction from Hawaii, he sought his proofs from the others by guesswork. The true history of a native race can never be written by one who is not thoroughly soaked in the traditions and language of the people, and since no one [Pg 13] man can be an authority upon more than one branch of a people so widely scattered as the Polynesians, a perfect treatise will not be written until Fornanders shall be found contemporary in Tonga, Samoa, New Zealand, Tahiti, the Marquesas, Rarotonga, Futuna, Wallis, and Hawaii, and collaboration arranged between them.

To such a task the Polynesian Society in Wellington might well devote its energies. Hawaii was settled by Polynesians who reached the group by a chain of islands that have since disappeared, and were isolated there for some six centuries. I quote the fourth conclusion because I believe that it has a bearing upon the Polynesian strain of blood which we find in the eastern portion of the Fiji islands. Now, Fornander's route for the Polynesians rests upon the assumption that they sojourned for more than three centuries in Fiji after the country had been settled by Melanesians, and that they were driven out bag and baggage by the Melanesians with whom they left behind nothing but their mythology and customs.

If this is true the first arrival of the Melanesians in Fiji is set back beyond our era; if it is false, Fornander's theory falls to the ground. He bases his belief not upon any indisputable references to Fiji in Polynesian traditions, but upon "the number of Polynesian names by which these islands and places in them are called, even now, by their [Pg 14] Papuan inhabitants," [7] and upon the Polynesian words and folklore to be found incorporated in the language and Mythology of Fiji.


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He conjectures the Polynesian's landing-place to have been in the western portion of Vitilevu, where, with one exception, the local and tribal names are pure Melanesian, and this exception—the tribe of Noikoro in the centre of the inland district—has a well-preserved tradition of emigration from the south-eastern coast of the island. Moreover, the dialects of Western Vitilevu are Melanesian, with less infusion of Polynesian words than any of the languages lying eastward of them. And lastly, it is impossible to believe that so momentous an event as the struggle between the two races, and the final expulsion of one of them, would have left no trace behind it in the traditions of the victors, when so insignificant an event as the arrival of two castaways, the missionaries of the Polynesian cult of the Malae is recorded in detail.

It is this. The Melanesians landed on the north-western shore of Vitilevu, and thence spread eastward throughout their own group. At the islands of the Lau group they met a check in the miles of open ocean that lay beyond, swept by the contrary wind of the south-east trades. Meanwhile the Polynesians, having long colonized the eastern groups, perhaps by way of Micronesia or Futuna or even by the north-eastern islands of [Pg 15] the Fiji group, but certainly not by Great Fiji, entered on their period of navigation which Fornander assigns, I believe erroneously, to the eleventh century, were carried westward by the south-east trades, by single canoes whose male castaways were generally killed and eaten, but whose females were taken to wife by the chiefs.

The superior attractions of their lighter coloured progeny led to the women of the mixed race being in request as wives among the darker Melanesians to the west.


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Many such castaway colonies are referred to in Tongan tradition. Early in the sixteenth century King Kauulu-fonua pursued the murderers of his father through the islands of the Samoan group to Futuna in vessels more seaworthy than the Tongiaki of Cook's day. The people of Ongtong Java ascribe their origin to a Tongan castaway canoe; the names of the Tongan ancestors of the Pylstaart Islanders since removed to Eua in Tonga are recorded, though their shipwreck is two centuries old.

The people of the reef islands of the Swallow group, though purely Melanesian in everything but their tongue, have traditions of castaways who were influential enough to impress their language, but not their blood upon their entertainers, just as the Aryan immigrants impressed their customs, folklore and language upon the Neolithic peoples they found in Europe. It is far more probable that Nea and Lifu in the Loyalty Islands, and Numea Noumea in New Caledonia received their Polynesian names from such chance settlement, than that they are, as Fornander would have it, echoes of permanent colonies which passed away more than fifteen centuries ago.

Turning to Fiji itself we find innumerable traditions of such Polynesian visitors, though never a trace of the far more important event of a Polynesian occupation. The chief family of Nandronga [Pg 16] traces its descent from a single Polynesian castaway who was washed up by the sea about The chief of Viwa three generations ago took to wife a Tongan girl, the only survivor of a murdered crew.

The chiefs of Thakaundrove claim relationship with the kings of Tonga through an ancestress of that family who was cast away early in the eighteenth century and saved by clinging to the deck-house when all her companions perished. These are only a few out of a series of Polynesian immigrations that may be numbered by hundreds, of which a tithe would suffice to account for the Polynesian language and blood to be found in Fiji.

A stepping-stone in Fiji was necessary to Fornander's theory of Polynesian migrations, and if he had not been blinded by his desire to find it, he would have seen the obvious import of his declaration that in the eleventh century the Polynesians had a renaissance of navigation. Such a period of unrest, of distant voyages undertaken with no compass but the stars, in clumsy craft, on seas swept continually by a south-east wind, must have resulted in numerous shipwrecks on the eastern shores of islands lying to the westward.

His work contains but three appeals to Fijian folklore, which are, besides, the only evidence he stops to specify. Moreover, the serpent nature of Ndengei is a modern gloss added by the poets of Raki-raki after the Ancestor-god had been consigned to the gloomy cavern of Nakauvandra, for to the Fijian of the west every cave has a monstrous eel or serpent lurking in its recesses, and issuing to glut its maw upon unwary mortals who venture too near.

Fornander's second quotation from folklore is designed to prove no less than a Polynesian reminiscence of the Hebrew legend of the building of Babel, forgotten by the Polynesians, but "stowed away" by them in the memory of their former hosts, the Fijians. Thomas Williams is responsible for this tradition of a vast tower erected on a great mound in Nasavusavu Bay, Vanualevu, which collapsed, scattering the builders to the four winds. No trace of this tradition is now to be found, and one cannot but remember that Williams drew his information from his converts, to whom he was teaching that the Mosaic books related the genesis of their own race, and who knew that a confirmation drawn from their own traditions would be highly comforting to their missionary.

But though there was no great mound to point to, and the existence of any such tradition may be doubted, to what, even if true, does it amount? To a coincidence such as is to be found in many primitive religions, or, if you will, to a suggestion that the Fijians are an offshoot of the Semitic stock, but scarcely to evidence that the Polynesians, who have no tradition of the kind, bequeathed it to the Fijians.

Fornander's third link is the tradition of the Deluge which is found in the folklore of both races. This, as might be expected, is quite sufficient evidence for him, not only of a Polynesian sojourn in Fiji, but of Polynesian descent from the "Cushite-pre-Joklanite Arabs," who, it is true, have no such traditions themselves, as far as we know, but certainly ought to have been at least as well favoured in this respect as the Semites and Aryans.

It is enough to say here that every island in the cyclone-belt is subject to destructive floods, that every district in Fiji has its own distinct tradition, and that in the provinces of Rewa and Mbua floods that are known to have occurred within the last years have already been canonized in the realm of myth. If the Fijian and Polynesian heroes had sent forth a dove, which was the distinctive feature in both the Babylonian and Hebrew accounts, owing to the custom of the Semitic navigators carrying doves as part of their necessary equipment to ascertain the proximity of land, then something might be said for the traditions as evidence.

But to quote so universal a human tradition as the Deluge-myths as evidence of intercourse or common origin is as rational as to draw such deductions from the belief in malevolent deities. Now, although Fornander's chronology has no direct bearing upon the date of the Melanesian arrival if, as I have shown, the Polynesians had no settlement in the group, the method of calculating dates should be the same for both races.

Our only guide for events that happened in Polynesia before Tasman's voyage, , is in the natives' genealogies, calculating by generations. They contain two obvious tendencies to error. It was very rare for a man of consequence to carry the same name throughout his career. Adoption, any notable exploit, or succession to a title were constant excuses for such changes, and it is quite possible that in the older genealogies the same hero is recorded twice under different names.

Moreover, it is by no means certain that the names were not those of the reigning chiefs, and seeing that the succession often went to the next brother when the son was not of an age to wield the power, it is highly doubtful whether every name represented a generation. I know one genealogy where, in the portion relating to historical times, one of the recorded names was younger brother to the chief who precedes him.

On the other hand, there is the tendency to omit the names of remote personages whose short reign or insignificant character have failed to stamp themselves on the memory of posterity. There is thus a double tendency to error—on the one side to multiplication of generations, and on the other to curtailment by omissions. But even supposing that Fornander's genealogies are correct, it is difficult to see how he could arrive at an approximate date without showing more discrimination in fixing the length of a generation. All his dates are calculated upon a generation of thirty years , because that is the average length generally assigned in Europe.

But Polynesia is not Europe, and generations in Polynesia, where men marry much earlier, are less than thirty years, as he might have discovered by taking the average in historical times. This I have done both in Tonga and Fiji, with the result that the generations in both races average from twenty-five to twenty-seven years. The Tui Tonga family is a very fair guide, because the office went invariably from father to son, and the holder was so sacred that he was never cut off by a violent death. The generations of this family since average twenty-seven years, while those of the temporal sovereign, the Tui Kanakubola who were often the victims of rebellion, average only twenty years apiece.

The history of Hawaii was so bloodstained, that it is unlikely that Hawaiian generations averaged more than twenty-five. Five years in a generation makes a vast difference, for the date given by Fornander for the Polynesians' arrival in the Pacific is set forward from the fifth to the seventh century, and for their arrival in Hawaii from the eleventh to the thirteenth.

Abraham Fornander has done inestimable service to future students of Oceanic ethnology by preserving for their use songs and traditions that would otherwise have passed into oblivion, but he will be used as a storehouse of data rather than as an exponent of history, and I feel that I am best serving his reputation by cutting away the false deductions that would have tainted the sound and wholesome facts which [Pg 20] form the larger portion of his work.

I cannot leave him without wishing that he had made better use of Bancroft's saying, which he printed as his text on the title-page, "It is now a recognized principle in philosophy that no religious belief, however crude, nor any historical traditions, however absurd, can be held by the majority of a people for any considerable time as true, without having in the beginning some foundation in fact. Fornander, Vol. With powerful scullers a speed of three miles an hour is attained in a dead calm.

London, Both chiefs asked me to bring about a meeting on the ground of their relationship. Though each could speak the language of the other their shyness led them to insist that I should interpret the conversation, which was carried on in Fijian and Tongan. After the usual formalities the two chiefs spoke of the adventures of their Tongan princess through whom they were related, and the Tongan and Fijian versions of the tradition were substantially identical.

London, , p. Of the centuries that lie between the age of myth and the age of history there are but the feeblest echoes. From the ethnology of the people of to-day we may infer that the stream of immigration swept down the northern coast of Vitilevu, and, radiating from Rakiraki, crossed the mountain range, and wandered down the two rivers, Rewa and Singatoka, until it reached the southern coast and peopled Serua and Namosi. Another stream must have crossed the strait to Mbua on Vanualevu, and spread eastward. Melanesian blood can be traced even in the Lau sub-group, but before any permanent settlement was made there Polynesian castaways, driven westward by the prevailing wind, must have begun to arrive.

At the dawn of history, about , Vitilevu was almost purely Melanesian, but the Lau and Lomaiviti islands, Taveuni, Vanualevu, and Kandavu were peopled by half-breeds between Melanesian and Polynesian, the Polynesian strain waxing stronger with every mile from west to east. The peopling of the waste lands was accelerated by war. There is scarcely a tribe that does not claim to have migrated from another place, sometimes from parts relatively remote from its present locality, and if it were worth the labour, the history of the migrations of each of them might even now be compiled, partly from its own traditions, partly from the tie of tauvu common Ancestor-gods with other tribes distantly related to it.

But, as it would be merely the history of a few fugitives from the sack of a village, driven out to find asylum in a waste valley, and founding in it a joint family which [Pg 22] lived to grow into a tribe, such an inquiry would be barren and profitless. The traditions of Tongan immigration are too numerous to be set down here. From , if not earlier, an expedition to Fiji was an annual occurrence. The most important was the arrival of the Tui Tonga's canoe in Taveuni, from which sprang the chief family of the Tui Thakau, and the stranding of the two little old men who instituted the Nanga Cult, which recalls the rites of the Polynesian Malae.

The chiefs of the Nandronga and Viwa Yasawa also trace their descent from Tongan castaways, and are very proud of the connection. The fact that traditionary history is so meagre is in itself an indication that there were no powerful confederations before the nineteenth century. The related tribes of Verata and Rewa in the south and Thakaundrove in the north-east seem to have been the only powers that wielded influence beyond their borders, but their intercourse with other tribes must have been very restricted. In islands where male castaways, having "salt water in their eyes," were killed and eaten, there was little spirit for discovery and adventure.

The imprint of the Tongan immigration is to be seen, not only in the blood of the tribes with whom the immigrants mingled, but in their mythology, for whereas the religion of the inland tribes is pure ancestor-worship, that of the coast tribes is overlaid with a mythology that is evidently derived from Polynesian sources. Early in the eighteenth century there seems to have been an upheaval among the inland tribes of Vitilevu which sent forth a stream of emigrants to the coast, whether as fugitives, or as voluntary exiles in search of new lands, there is no tradition to show.

This event was destined to have a tremendous influence upon the political destiny of the islands, for among the emigrants was the tribe of Mbau, sturdy mountain warriors, still bearing in their physiognomy and dark complexion the proof of their Melanesian blood and their late arrival in the sphere of Polynesian influence. This tribe, humble as it was in its origin, was destined, partly through [Pg 23] chance, partly by its genius for intrigue, to win its way within a century to the foremost position in the group.

Rewa, descended from the earliest settlers on the delta of the great river, could alone boast an ancient aristocracy and a complex social organization which entitled it to be called a confederation. The rest of the group was split up into tribes, little larger than joint families, which treated all strangers as enemies, and held their lands at the point of the spear. The Mbau people settled upon the coast about a mile from the islet now called by their name, but then known as Mbutoni, which is connected with the mainland by a coral reef fordable at high water.

Upon the islet lived two tribes of fishermen, named Levuka and Mbutoni, who were supplied with vegetable food by the inland chiefs in return for fish. Being subject to the Mbauans, they supplied them with a navy, for a tribe lately descended from the mountains was distrustful of the sea. Wedged in between Verata on the north and Rewa on the south, Mbau was continually at war with one or the other. Her pressing need was men, "the men of Verata and Rewa" to quote from the meke that records her history , and as she held her own, those who had grievances against her powerful neighbours, broken tribes fleeing from their conquerors in the hills, flocked to her for protection, and her needs were satisfied.

But her territory did not exceed ten square miles. About , Nailatikau being Vunivalu, or secular king, the chiefs moved from the mainland to the islet, which was known thenceforward as Mbau. The fishermen had for some time been waxing insubordinate, and their offences culminated in the eating of an enormous fish which ought, by custom, to have been presented to their chiefs.

They were expelled from the island. The Levuka tribe fled to Lakemba, still retaining their hereditary right to instal each successive Vunivalu in his office. The Mbau chiefs scarped away the face of the island so as to form the embankment upon which the present town is built. Nailatikau died about , and was succeeded by his second son Mbanuve. During his reign [Pg 24] the fishermen of Lasakau from the island of Mbenka, and of Soso, from the island of Kandavu, were employed in reclaiming more land from the sea, and were allowed to settle on the island.

The first intermarriage with the Rewa chiefs dates from this period. The story goes that a Rewa canoe, being hailed as she passed Mbau, replied that she was bound for Verata for a princess to mate with the king of Rewa; that the crew was induced to take a Mbau lady in her stead, and that a Rewa princess was sent to Mbau in exchange. Thus the Mbau chiefs passed from being parvenus to a place in the aristocracy of their adopted country.

As the date of the first arrival of Europeans, which was to have so profound an influence upon the natives, is in dispute, it may be well to mention the recorded voyages chronologically. Tasman, who sighted Vanua-mbalavu in , did not communicate with the natives. Cook, who had had information about the group from Fijians settled in the Friendly Islands, discovered the outlying island of Vatoa, the southeasterly limit of the group, and called it Turtle Island, but bore away to the north-east. In April , a few days after the famous Mutiny of the Bounty , Bligh passed through the centre of the group in an open boat.

His urgent need of provisions would doubtless have impelled him to communicate with the shore had he possessed firearms, and had he not just lost his quartermaster in a treacherous attack made upon him by the natives of Tofua. As it was he was chased along the northern coast of Vitilevu by two sailing canoes, which only left him when he cleared the group by Round Island, the most northerly of the Yasawa sub-group. The first Europeans who had intercourse with the natives, so far as we know, were the prize crew of the little schooner built of native timber in Tahiti by the Bounty mutineers in Having shut up the mutineers in "Pandora's Box" as the little roundhouse on the quarter-deck of H.

Pandora was called Captain Edwards victualled and manned the mutineer's schooner as his tender, but he parted company [Pg 25] with her in a storm off Samoa an hour before a fresh supply of stores and water was to be put on board of her. The island of Tofua had been the appointed rendezvous in such a contingency, and the schooner duly made the island, but, having waited in vain for the Pandora , her commander, now desperate for want of provisions, made sail to the northwest, and cast anchor at an island which was almost certainly Matuku in the Lau sub-group of Fiji.

Here she lay for six weeks with boarding nettings up, but the natives appear to have treated their strange visitors with friendliness and hospitality. After terrible sufferings, from which the midshipman lost his reason, and numerous encounters with the natives of the Solomons or the New Hebrides, this handful of brave seamen made the Great Barrier Reef opposite Torres Straits, which, for want of time to search for a passage, they boldly rode at in a spring tide, and jumped, escaping without injury to their little vessel.

Mistaken for pirates by the Dutch authorities, they were clapped into prison, where Captain Edwards found them after himself suffering shipwreck on the Barrier Reef. Unfortunately neither Oliver, the gunner in command of the schooner, nor any of his shipmates published the story of these adventures, and the Record Office has been searched in vain for the log which they must have handed over to Edwards; otherwise we might have had a very valuable description of the Fijians a century ago. One or other of the native poems describing the first arrival of European ships may refer to this voyage.

This visit, or perhaps an unrecorded one about the same year, , had a sinister influence upon Fijian history, for the evidence which will be set forth in a later chapter points to it as the cause of the terrible epidemic of Lila wasting sickness which decimated the group. In the following year, , Captain Bligh ran along the coast of Taveuni in H. Providence , and was followed by canoes. On April 26, , the "snow" Arthur touched at the Yasawa Islands, and was attacked by the natives. In , or , a vessel was wrecked on the Mbukatatanoa [Pg 26] Reef, subsequently named Argo, from a vessel of that name which was cast away upon it.

A number of Europeans wearing red caps over their ears and smoking pipes were rescued by the natives of Oneata, and gunpowder seems to have come into the hands of the natives, who used the powder for blackening their faces and hair, and the ramrods of the muskets as monke hair ornaments. We do not know what became of these survivors. Perhaps they were slain as a propitiatory sacrifice to the god of pestilence, for from the traditions of Mbau we learn that Mbanuve, the son of Nduru-thoko Nailatikau , the Vunivalu of the Mbau, died of a new disease introduced by a foreign vessel, and was surnamed Mbale-i-vavalangi He who died of a foreign disease in accordance with the custom of calling dead chiefs after the place where they were slain, as Mbale-i-kasavu He who fell at Kasavu, etc.

On his death the Levuka people came from Lakemba to instal his successor, Na-uli-you New steer-oar , and they brought with them a canvas tent, which was the first article of European manufacture which the Mbau people had seen. We may fix this date with some confidence. On the day of the installation there was a total eclipse of the sun, the heavens were like blood, the stars came out, and the birds went to roost at mid-day. While the dysentery was sweeping through the islands the people were startled by the appearance of a great hairy star with three tails.

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Now, the only total eclipse of the sun visible in Fiji about this period was that which occurred at 9. The comet is not so easy to identify. It may have been Encke's comet of November 21, , or the famous comet of Shortly after Naulivou's accession, that is to say some time between and , the first of the sandal-wood traders touched at Koro, where some Mbau chiefs happened to be. He dwelt in the house erected over Mbanuve's grave, where he took to drinking kava to his own undoing, but that before his death he told the natives that there was a God superior to Mbanuve or any Fijian deity.

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I have never been able to obtain any confirmation of this story: on the contrary I have been assured that Charles Savage was the first European to land at Mbau, but as the arrival of ships must have been not infrequent as soon as the presence of sandal-wood had become known, and whalers were ranging the Pacific, it is not improbable. In there happened an event which left an enduring mark upon Fijian history. The American brig Eliza , with [Pg 28] 40, dollars from the River Plate on board, was wrecked on the reef off Nairai.

The majority of the crew escaped in the ship's boats, and boarded another American vessel which was lying off Mbua for sandal-wood; the rest took passage in native canoes that happened to be at the island, one to Mbau and the others to Verata, while the natives looted the wreck. The man who went to Mbau was the Swede, Charles Savage, a man of much character and resource. Having been refused leave to return to Nairai to search for a musket, he pointed to a nkata club, which bears a distant resemblance to a gun, and bade them bring him from the wreck a thing of that shape, and a cask of black powder like their own hair-pigment.

The native messengers were successful; the musket was found built into a yam-hut as one of the rafters. Having demonstrated the uses of a musket before the assembled chiefs, Savage took part in a reconnaissance towards Verata, the state with which Mbau was then at war. He took with him a gourd containing a letter addressed to the white men at Verata, bidding them flee to him at Mbau, as it was the stronger state.

The gourd was tied to a stick just out of arrowshot, and as the canoe retired the Verata people carried it into their fort, and in a few days later the other whites joined him at Mbau. Savage with his musket now began to carry all before him. He had a sort of arrow-proof sedan chair made of plaited sinnet, in which he was carried into musket-shot of the enemy's entrenchments, and from which he picked off the sentinels until the garrison fled.

Thus Mbau subdued all the coast villages as far as the frontiers of Rewa. Savage cleverly kept his fellow-Europeans in the background without arousing their enmity. He alone carried the musket; he alone could speak the language fluently, and to him the other whites thought that they owed the good-will of the natives. Two great ladies were given him to wife, and the order of Koroi was bestowed upon him with the title of Koroi-na-vunivalu. Yet he stoutly refused to conform to native customs, and so he kept the respect of the chiefs.

Shortly after the shipwreck the visits of ships became frequent, from India, America, and Australia. They lay for [Pg 29] many weeks off the Mbua coast, while the crew cut and shipped sandal-wood; and the sailors, allured by the story of the dollars lost in the Eliza , deserted, or were discharged in considerable numbers. The dollars, though one or two were found as lately as , were scattered beyond recovery, and the sailors drifted away, some to Mbau, and others to the villages on the sandal-wood coast, where they took native wives, and adopted every native custom except cannibalism.

William Mariner, who visited Mbau in on board the Favourite , the vessel in which he escaped from Tonga, found a number of whites there whose reputation both for crimes, vices, and for quarrelling among themselves was so bad that his informant, William Lee, was glad to make his escape from them. During Savage's absence with the army they nearly brought annihilation upon themselves.

At a great presentation of food, the king's mata omitted to set aside a portion for the white men, and they, incensed at what they took for an intentional insult, ran to the stack of food, and slashed the yams with their knives. Now, this is an insult which no Fijian will brook, and they were promptly attacked. They killed a number of their assailants with their muskets, but when the hut in which they had taken refuge was fired, they had to make for the sea. Three were clubbed as they ran, but two, Graham and Buschart, swam out to sea, and returned only when they were assured of the chief's protection.

Savage could not afford to jeopardize his influence with the chiefs by mixing in the quarrels of the other Europeans. With his two wives, who were women of the highest rank, he [Pg 30] lived apart from the others, in the enjoyment of all the privileges of a native chief who was Koroi. But when not engaged in fighting, he also spent the winter months on the sandal-wood coast, working for the trading ships. Dillon had spent four months in the group in , and had acquired a slight knowledge of the language, besides winning the respect of the people for his magnificent physique, and his Irish good humour.

He had, as he tells us, prepared a history of the islands from the date of their discovery to , but the manuscript has disappeared, and is not likely now to come to light. Interesting as it may have been, its value as a history would have suffered from the lively imagination of the writer. Captain Robson's methods of obtaining a cargo would not have commended itself to the Aborigines' Protection Society.

On anchoring at Wailea, he was wont to enter into a contract with Vonasa, the chief, to aid him in his wars in return for a full cargo. The enemy's forts were carried with a two-pounder, and the bodies of the slain were then dismembered, cooked, and eaten in Robson's presence. On this occasion the same policy was pursued, but whether owing to the exhaustion of the forest or to the indolence of the natives, a full cargo was not forthcoming. At the end of four months, two hundred Mbauans, led by two of the king's brothers, arrived in their canoes to take their white men back to Mbau, and with their help Robson resolved to punish the faithlessness of the Wailea people.

The duo alleged Cord has lost direc- She called on the Maasai commu- tion and has resorted to propaganda nity to firmly remain in government in with a view to diverting attention. Annex prison who rely on the borehole for their water. This is the second time in Feasibility study on waste recycling two months that Kenya Power have dis- under way, says City Hall official connected power to the borehole over a pending bill of more than Sh2 million.

Dandora dump site to increase its ca- floor. Assad make war. People Daily is divisive politics. Box , - Nairobi, Tel: ; ; E-mail: editor. They lack good seeds and against food scarcity to become the main drivers Consumers often find themselves between a rock showed that production of maize has significantly soil is depleted. The farmers also suffer from unre- of food security, job creation and poverty eradica- and a hard place hoping for commensurate dip in increased following the latest harvest—reassuring liable water supplies and easy access to markets, tion that keeps haunting the country.

More heartening news came last week after When global economic reports indicate im- This comes amid concerns that parts of north- For food security and increased agricultural 10, bags of maize planted in July was harvested proved ease of doing business and growth as the ern Kenya are affected by drought, threatening to productivity, smallholder farmers must embrace from of 2, acres in the model farm of the economy leverages on good infrastructure and cause hunger and demand for relief food.

It is likely that the 2, the cost of living to ease. However, the anticipated pass-through benefits dropped, on average, by Sh2 from Sh in July of reduced crude oil prices, for example, have not to Sh in August—the food security situation is A rapid dissemination of locally adapted and The government has intensified efforts to ex- been felt by consumers directly. Even transporters stable and maize stock stands at 9,, bags. Such projects can resolve the perennial oil. Since last year, when the cost of fuel dipped by maize growing areas.

This shows smallholder life desired in rural households more than 30 per cent, there was no correspond- farmers can fight food insecurity and poverty by The priority is to grow more food. Policies and ing dip in the cost of prices of goods and services adopting research solutions to their problems. Kenya is experiencing challenges For this to be achieved, researchers, policy- especially when some prices posed by climate change, a rapidly growing urban makers and the beneficiaries have to work to- Kenya must transform the capacity to feed it- go against market forces population and unemployment, and the agricul- gether along the agricultural value chain.

Smallholder farmers cannot prosper between two and three months before the benefit making the nation food secure and creating em- profitable returns on investments because of high unless they get access to credit, and for that they of cheaper fuel is passed on. The costs never went ployment opportunities. Farmers can only see the This is despite the fact that the cost of energy con- and interact with farmers as equal, useful partners results of their efforts becoming a reality if they stitutes 40 per cent of total manufacturing costs, and in the agriculture value-chain.

Many poor smallholder farmers are confronted albertoleny gmail. It is also laughable for manufacturers to feel uncomfortable whenever cheaper priced com- modities hit the market—as was the case when it emerged that Dangote Cement could be in the market with imported cement at less than Sh compared to Sh for the lowest locally-priced commodity. Some manufacturers even threatened that such moves would likely ship them out to destinations of- fering better incentives yet indications are that there was an absolute improvement in value addition, costs related to electricity, credit and competition.

Even in the fuel sector something must give. It is unfortunate that Kenya lacks a strong con- sumer protection lobby, especially when some prices go against market forces. True, change hands. The fact is Kenyans schools in slums. Many businesspeople nance fee. According While the government has put caps on a way out of poverty. Even those who can- into the private school business. They may to sources, the detectives public schools fees, it has left the private not put more than one meal on the table will have buildings, teachers and some learning Other ridiculous fees include compul- are accusing NTSA officials of school sector to be guided by market forces.

At the end of the and intimidation. Last weekend, prices, most private schools have become term, this money is depleted and the par- the NTSA erected an alcoblow exploitative. And the rules governing pri- To them, education is a priority. Private Many of these schools are managed by ent is always in deficit. Some schools have roadblock outside Mazingira House, vate learning institutions according to the school entrepreneurs know this all too well. Whether your child is taken ill or the detectives believe was meant to aspect.

In fact, they provide no recourse for schools provide substandard education, agement of learning institutions. These not, this amount is not refundable and you target them. A month ago, a senior parents should the schools exploit them.

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When these above Sh1, would collect. A study students, hence more business. The Ministry of Education apparently lations. It assumes that when quality assur- the institutions shamelessly exploit parents maintains the mentality that parents who with ridiculous fee structures.

Despite newfangled of Kenya last week are said to communication technology, the have left the venue a disappointed year-old is still doing what lot. The delegates are said to he has been doing for decades be complaining of failure by the — summoning fellow villagers in organisers to pay them allowances South Mugirango to meetings using they had been promised. The his homemade trumpet. Once in delegates are also said to have left a while, he is paid a small token the venue without having had any for his services.

The feud needs to be addressed part of his life, should be given the op- between Manchester and Liverpool. Fresh being the case before it gets out of hand and criminals portunity to manage the affairs of po- Officers discovered the car concerned crime when the country has been ex- where five officers were shot dead by a take advantage. There is need to ensure indepen- but when they pulled it over, they periencing acts of terrorism and radi- colleague in Kapenguria.

Peace and tranquility is necessary for make-up. They were extras on their Thorough probe needs to be carried any economy and any wave of crime as Kenya must have a police service that way to an acting job. A spokeswoman Although this is not new having out in what is ailing in the police ser- a result of silent feud between the two is organised, adequately trained and for Greater Manchester Police said: experienced similar disputes in the vice.

Previous and current leadership bodies is dangerous. Happy ally be given to men. Unatumia pills hujali :It is essential to participate in the want to nut and bolt. Responsibility of PangaUzaziKe. This ministry including new charter carriers, and also by many livelihoods directly and indirectly. It as business and conference tourism. GDP and 20 per cent to foreign exchange earnings. It also Government has put in various measures taxes, review of entry fees to national accounts for about nine per cent of total wage employment parks and visa fees.

To consolidate the gains being made in the country. It will provide the sector sectors such as agriculture, handicraft and construction such as security, road and air transport with the strategic direction and identify due to its dependence on those sectors. These efforts have borne role as a catalyst for economic development As recognised by the United Nations Conference for results. For tourist arrivals are growing. This is even more important to a country like Kenya, Development Goals, especially as we which is a leading long-haul destination for leisure, as well look forward to celebrating as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development.

We welcome all Kenyans and our visitors as we celebrate the World Tourism Day Welcome All. Karibuni Sana.

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It is the official day such as agro-tourism and sports of all Kenyans in tourism activities clear and reliable information, efficient providers, including hotels, set aside in the United Nations tourism. Communities must transportation and public services, restaurants, clubs, tour operators, calendar to celebrate tourism and to As a country, we are known also play their role to ensure that they and a physical environment that is airlines, among others, to reassess highlight its potential to contribute to be friendly, hospitable and support tourism while identifying easy to navigate on an equal basis, their facilities and put in place to the wellbeing of all humankind accommodating to our visitors.

I urge and actualising opportunities for including those living with disability, measures to ensure easy access by and address some of the challenges all of us to continue perpetuating them to benefit from the sector. It young children, seniors and persons all. We also urge all State Agencies society is faced with today. We highly commend this disability, to access information, serve all people.

A lot of Tourism information and public different people and peace and a helps us know our country better efforts have gone towards ensuring communication should also be transformative force for improving and enjoy its natural beauty and this is effected, but even with accessible to all and in various millions of lives. The Ministry of Tourism looks recognised globally for the diversity ideals of national integration, On this World Tourism Day, let us forward to working with all to ensure of its attractions and activities. The attractions to be at the forefront in promoting Kilifi County.

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They brought food, medical supplies and hygiene kits for 60, Moderator people. A Ye- top court last week Bongo, 57, was initially declared win- factorily rectify meni soldier also died and another was ner. Gov- was controversially validated by the people were killed. The government ernment forces backed by a Saudi-led constitutional court. Ping had asked for a recount in Haut-Ogooue province, where 95 per cent of voters in the Bongo fam- ily stronghold were reported to have cast their ballots for the president on a turnout of more than 99 per cent.

Pictures heaviest bombing raids of the five-year mantha Power. Dozens of devices were steveumidha reported to have caught fire. The phone was to be back on the shelf on The board and management of September 28 but is now expected to Kenya Airways KQ will face off with be available October 1 at the earliest. The forum slated for tomorrow and Thursday aims to demonstrate However, this has not reflected in to potential investors the efforts the financial performance and adren- being undertaken by the government aline is already running high amongst to facilitate growth of the sector.

KQ had about 1. The consultant has developed rently valued at Sh The airline in July announced a net loss of Sh Organised by Kenya cially viable. High attrition will bounce back amid issues sur- of flights rates of experienced pilots and skilled rounding it. All employ- contested the continued stay of top pilots have left Kenya Airways in the Kalpa official Captain Isaac Areri in an ees have been selected based on mer- rural areas. Most recently, the airline has ex- to eight per cent, down from The latest incident saw ment put a huge dent to the hopes of West Africa and Central Africa that flight KQ from Entebbe, Uganda, with Fidelity Insurance and Invesco the pilots who have not received any increased by 28 per cent and 20 per burst its tyres as it landed at the JKIA cent.

Under the can markets, especially with the re- a comprehensive report on the inci- sumption of flights to Wqest Africa dent. It has also to make it easier for parents and spending power. The money is Jomo Kenyatta International Airport report. The solution also cation it has cut out its target market income population with higher dis- announced opening of different enables contribution for educa- as middle-class and wealthy Kenyans. Additional growth business models adopted by fast food restaurants—where operators intro- Accessible to all A recent McKinsey report shows duce healthy menus including break- consumption growth in Africa is sec- fast—pushed growth of fast foods by The other product, M-Kitabu, is ond-fastest after Asia 7.

Americans, the data says, go to great of their phone. This way, we save them on changing trends even as it enters the money and inconvenience of new markets. Payment is monthly at Sese Island, Uganda. Area more than 60, currently. In addition, the farmers chairman Martin Lugambwa told boost production.

Opul , a subsidiary of Bidco Africa, get of 4, hectares for smallholder Under an agreement, Oil Palm which has championed the pro- farmers. Production peaks at the eighth or The good fortunes have seen the offer a three-month maintenance as- ninth year, and 80 per cent of farmers At least 1, farmers will earn population of the district rising from sistance cash arrangement. But palm oil is one of Lugambwa.

Production costs come down as. Analysts remain million in January, according to gloomy about the chances of data compiled by Bloomberg. Ruanda, Burundi, DRC and. The band started its Mukanzi why her music musical journey way back in and has since zooms in on lives of worked on various music projects, including black people the famous Piano City workshops and con- certs. The album comprises worship and African themed songs. Tell us Rating: 7. The the best of my ability.

Did your upbringing and experience as a ferent cultures all over the world. Not everyone is comfortable with activi- Absolutely. How do you deal with that? I got here. People who have threat- that. Can ened to harm me sexually or physically. People percieve the US as the home of hip- black people really afford to push reality Some have thrown things at me, booed hop.

Why move to Germany? It is ridiculous to shove our change the way I tell our stories and a lot. The world is bigger than the US and I history away and pretend nothing hap- whatever truth I need to communicate. I just want pened. Hip-hop is global, movies, write stories, sing and have many and more.

It is not just music, visual art my music traverses boundaries and is not representations. It has something for Does art adequately tell these stories? What are your thoughts on Alicia Keys everyone. This again depends on who is the director make-up free campaign? There are many women doing ad- resources to tell our stories. However, they are not nearly enough. I always buy this one particular It is an honour to serve my people. I made a interest.

The behaviour of specific birds, insects, and animals warn people about the nearness or length of the rains. The migration of birds shows that the exact time the rains will fall cannot be determined, while the excited jumping of cows and goats occurs just prior to a downpour. Table Sell cattle and farms to buy food Some men run away, leaving wives and children behind Men migrate to seek employment elsewhere to feed families Women make ropes and weave baskets for sale Group formations increase, kinship affiliations and friendships are strengthened, as people grapple with problem of survival Soil types and changes Fertile soils Soil red, heavy and sticky In kitchen gardens where debris and other rubbish are thrown away daily, beans and other legumes planted Maize planted on anthill and other fertile areas Insects such as scorpions, ants around anthills, earthworms, snakes and rats found here Sorghum, pigeon peas, cowpeas, sweet potatoes and cassava planted.

Weeds such as Ittungi, Mungoi Ikoka star grass Mukutu, Mbiu and couch grass Manure is added as soil nutrient, crop rotation, grow drought resistant crops Soil coarse, light and sandy Songe, IIaa, mutaa lamuyu weeds found here Infertile soils Formerly heavy, sticky soil becomes loose and coarse Couch grass becomes weaker, especially if it grows near mutaa plant normally found in infertile soil Changes in texture Appearance of Mungoi weed.

Among the Akamba of the Kivingone Sublocation, the breaking of rains is indicated by the appearance of dew and mist in the morning, intense heat, and the appearance of the rainbow. During this time, people weed their crops. Once the mist and dew disappear in the morning and the clouds darken, people hurry up with weeding in case the rains prevent them from completing it. Drought is planned for very carefully because it has such serious implications for subsistence farmers. Climatic changes illustrated by the observation of plant and animal behaviour caution people to make preparations for cattle protection, the storage of water, alternative economic activities and strengthened social relationships, which may provide additional financial and moral support.

Indeed, the community's knowledge of the environment is so detailed, and their planning so directly connected to environmental change, that any deviation from what is normal and expected creates confusion and hesitations, which may, in the end, affect the overall yield for the season.

We illustrate with an example recorded in the researcher's field notes, which describes such an occurrence during the planting season in Kivingone village:. These rains occur for nearly two days during the month of February. While the villagers view them with trepidation, because the strong winds sometimes damage their crops, at the same time they are a sign that the next rains, which normally occur in March, will definitely occur, so people can plant further or replant if necessary.

The Ngalula rains are particularly important because if they don't occur, people may mistake the long rains in March for Ngalula and fail to plant in time. A confusion arose when instead of the Ngalula rains occurring for two days, it rained continuously for nearly one week. The crucial question, therefore, was: Is this Ngalula or the long rains? Should people plant or not? Subsequently, some people went ahead and planted, while others waited for more sure signs which characterize long rains, such as the roaring of thunder, which could reassure them that they were doing the right thing by planting at that particular time.

While this example confirms the villagers trust in grassroots indicators for planning purposes, it is also a clear indication that grassroots indicators are susceptible to environmental changes, which poses grave limitations for long-term planning and implementation.


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This recognition has led some of the villagers to take risks and go ahead with planting while knowing full well that the indicators individually were not reliable enough. Instead, farmers watch for a set of indicators, such as the excited jumping of cows and goats, the croaking of frogs or the jumping of Tuminzili insects. In some areas with a steady flow of migrants and new settlers, the indicators of previous environments may be inappropriate to the new environment.

This results in confusion, misinterpretation, and hesitation in planning production activities. Indicators are very specific to certain environments and cultures. Notwithstanding the limitations already mentioned, it is widely accepted that local knowledge systems could play a vital role in informing and promoting development efforts. Indeed, there is ample evidence to suggest that not only are indigenous knowledge systems more sustainable than many recent development efforts based on economic models, but they could be used to supplement more scientific approaches to attain the much-desired but elusive concept of sustainable development.

The challenge is no longer to convince the world about the validity of indigenous knowledge or human-centred development but on how best to bridge the gap between local needs, and the broader national, regional and international spheres. A first step in this direction is to ensure that development planners, policymakers, and aid implementers give the ethical, spiritual, and institutional aspects of the indigenous knowledge system the attention they deserve. This implies that there is a need to determine ways and means of adopting and adapting local knowledge in the outside world.