NATION

Traditional Protocol Observed In Wake Of Ratu Joni’s Passing

The tabu which came into effect yesterday after the burial of the late Roko Tui Bau, Ratu Joni Madraiwiwi would be in place for 100 nights. Ratu Kinijoji Toganivalu, the
08 Oct 2016 11:00
Traditional Protocol Observed In Wake Of Ratu Joni’s Passing
Photo:DEPTFO

The tabu which came into effect yesterday after the burial of the late Roko Tui Bau, Ratu Joni Madraiwiwi would be in place for 100 nights.

Ratu Kinijoji Toganivalu, the Turaga na Masau said the tradition is observed when one of chiefly status dies.

Traditional protocol was strictly followed at the chiefly burial ground known as the Sau Tabu where Ratu Joni was laid.

Men from the village of Nakoroivau, Yavusa Matanacika (pictured right),  hold the traditional role of Liga Tabu (those who can touch the body of a late chief).

After the body of Ratu Joni was laid to rest, the men from Nakoroivau knelt side by side in a circle on top of the tomb cover. They looked out to the Bau waters.

They held their hands behind their backs and passed the kura (noni fruit) to one another.  They would have a bite when the fruit passed their hands. In iTaukei this tradition is called the dranumi ni turaga.

Spokesperson for the liga tabu, Akariva Ramanumanu said the pieces of wood used to lower the casket of Ratu Joni into the tomb is then carried past the village lawn and plunged into the sea at Mueidule.

The tabu is automatically activated when the men bathe in the sea.

Today when the 40 plus men of Nakoroivau return to their village, another traditional protocol awaits them.

Each man is to wash their hands and feet from the banana sap before they are able to go about their daily lives.

The last time such protocol was followed was at the funeral of Adi Lelea Cakobau, who is also buried at the sau tabu, the highest point on Bau island.

Over the past week as thousands paid their last respects to a renowned son of Fiji, traditional roles were once again revitalised.

Ratu Kinijoji acknowledged the traditional roles faithfully carried out by those responsible.


Nakoroivau – they are the elders or qase ni vale vua na gone Turaga na Vunivalu. They are the solely responsible for the handling of the body of the late chief along with any works carried out on the traditional burial ground, sau tabu.


Namara – na bati leka, they guard the chiefly grounds once the body arrived at the Vatanitawake.


Namata – na bati balavu (were not summoned to guard at yesterday’s funeral).


Namuka – They are also the elders, qase ni vale, who are responsible for bringing firewood, cooking, lovo from the day the late chief passed away.


Lasakau – the traditional fishermen, gonedau, who are responsible for bringing fish during the mourning period.

Edited by Ranoba Baoa

Feedback:  rosi.doviverata@fijisun.com.fj

 



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