Went exploring today, and met up with Rhu and Paul (OysterMoon) in
Sigatoka, Fiji. After a wander around the town we went to visit the Hill Fort at
Tavuni Hill. It is in a fantastic location and the guide showed us around. He
was called Joe(!) and let slip that he was the chief’s son and also that he was
Tongan. Hang on a minute – this is Fiji. So let me explain.
The fort was built in the 18th century by the Tongan chief ‘Maile Latemai.
It demonstrates the strong links between Tonga and Fiji at the time. The fort is
built on a limestone ridge, about 90 m high at the edge of a bend on the
Sigatoka river. It was a strategic location with great views up and down river
as well as across the plains and foothills. No other clan/tribe managed to
defeat the fort, at least not until the europeans came with rifles and that was
the downfall of the clan. All this occurred when Fiji decided to become part of
the British empire but this clan did not want to join in. Sadly for them that
was not the right answer.
It was quite a substantial settlement and includes several chiefs graves,
foundations for about 30 houses, a ceremonial meeting area with sacrificial
stone for head-chopping!!
We had to sit down after seeing the head chopping stone! Check the view
Looking downriver at the track to Sigatoka.
Circles of stones are all that remains of the houses in the fort.
And the view upriver.