Rob Wright Fiji Photographs

3. Fiji's Scenery

 This site and all text is Copyright © Rod Ewins 2002-2011. Photographs are Copyright of the estate of the Late Robert Wright Snr.

Bau Island, Rewa Roads. This island was the stronghold of Ratu Seru Cakobau (Thar-korm-bow), the most influential chief in Fiji at the time of Cession (1874). The Council House, on the site of the old temple Na Vatanitawake, can be seen on the near end of the village sward (rara).

"Matayalevu village, Yaqeta" (pronounced as Ma-tie-ya-leh-vu and Yarn-getter) island, Yasawa Group, northwestern Fiji. The handsome large beach-side tree is a vutu ni wai or vutu vala (also sometimes called vutu gaga (ngah-ngah = poison), this being an attribute of its curious fruit, which resemble the box-sided domes on some eastern minarets). It has a pretty creamy white flower with a yellow centre and long pistil; botanical name Baringtonia racemosa.

Matayalevu Village, Yaqeta I., Yasawa Group. Note breadfruit trees (Artocarpus altilis) planted throughout the village, providing both shade and food.

Villagers near beach. Unidentified location.

Coconuts for making copra.

Beach idyll - no location specified, but it may be the same village as that shown in "People", namely Matayalevu village, Yaqeta island, Yasawa Group.

Path through a coconut grove (veivuniniu). Not localised, and one could find a scene like this almost anywhere in Fiji. However, the presence of the purely decorative plants in between the trees suggests that it is near a European establishment of some sort, more than likely a tourist resort, as few Fijians bother to plant decorative plants of this sort, and even less commonly beside paths. That would in turn suggest that it may have been somewhere in the "Coral Coast" area of SW Vitilevu, the main tourist area at that time.

"Nabui, a peak in the Korobasabasaga range", This brooding peak is typical of many found in the Vitilevu Highlands. The Korobasabasaga (literally "bifurcated village") Range is continuous with the more famous Kauvadra Range, which culminates at 4,341 feet in Fiji's highest peak, Tomaniivi (called by the British after their sovereign, Mt Victoria). A large proportion of Fijian lineages claim Na Kauvadra as their ultimate origin-place (vuna), due perhaps to its being the legendary home of the most powerful deity in the Fijian hierarchy of gods, Degei, who lived in the form of a huge python in a cave in these forbidding heights. His children are said to have dispersed to become chiefs throughout all parts of the Group.

Manoca sugar cane estate, serving Nausori CSR Mill. The house on the hill with the three royal palms (one later blown down in a hurricane) was the estate overseer's residence, where my family and I lived from 1949-57. It was subsequently bought by Doug Brown, and managed for him by Mickey Harness. Anyone know who is there at present?

 One of Rob's annual Christmas cards