NEWS

No Kava For New Chief

The new Roko Tui Bau, Ratu Timoci Tavanavanua, will not be installed in the traditional way on Saturday. Instead, he will be anointed and blessed at the Ratu Cakobau Church
25 Oct 2017 12:13
No Kava For New Chief
Ratu Timoci Tavanavanua.

The new Roko Tui Bau, Ratu Timoci Tavanavanua, will not be installed in the traditional way on Saturday.

Instead, he will be anointed and blessed at the Ratu Cakobau Church on the chiefly island of Bau.

Yaqona (kava), which has been an integral part of the traditional installation ceremony, has been banned. It will be allowed after the official installation.

It is understood that Ratu Timoci, who runs his own Christian ministry, made the decision to go with the religious or spiritual blessing. This is the first time that a Roko Tui Bau will be installed without the yaqona ceremony.

It is understood that it had taken long to replace the former Roko Tui Bau, the late Ratu Joni Madraiwiwi, because of differences between the conservative traditionalists and the more liberal, “born again”, chiefs who represent the emerging new order that favours religious beliefs over cultural traditions and practices. The religious beliefs demonises yaqona.

The change was confirmed by the Turaga na Masau, Ratu Kinijoji Toganivalu, yesterday.

“I can confirm to you that the new Roko Tui Bau will be blessed at Ratu Cakobau Church in Bau on Saturday,” he said.

“Arrangements have been made for three chaplains from three churches and one of them is the President of the Methodist Church (Qase Levu) Reverend Tevita Nawadra,” he said.

Roko Tui Tailevu Asesela Delasau said his office had been notified of the chiefly installation this Saturday.

After the installation, a letter from the church confirming it, would be sent to the Tailevu Provincial Council Office.

Upon receiving the letter, Mr Delasau will forward it to the Ministry of the iTaukei Affairs for the confirmation and registration of the title.

This new trend of chiefs choosing religious belief over cultural practices is understood to be causing concern among the vanua. The yaqona is synonymous with the vanua. Its ban is seen by the pro-yaqona advocates as an ominous sign for the future survival of the vanua. But the opponents disagree.

On September 28, the new Tui Nadi, Ratu Vuniyani Navuniuci, was installed without the traditional protocol of the yaqona ceremony. Instead, he was ordained with a special oil by his Seventh-day Adventist pastor at the Vatulevu Methodist Church in Narewa, Nadi. Police reinforcement was called in because of tension.

One group did not support the ditching of the yaqona ceremony.

Edited by Naisa Koroi

Feedback:  maikab@fijisun.com.fj



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