Viti levu, Fiji

Cannibalism and Hair, Fiji Islands' Old Pastimes

capillary helmet
The lush hair of Rockodage Bello, owner of a kind of antique dealer in Pacific Harbour.
ready to eat
Boys from a scrubland on the banks of the Navua river grate fresh coconut.
about the bow
William, a native guide, leads a small expedition down the Navua River towards the highlands of Namosi.
Samu Sakelago
Fijian boy exhibits artisan skills.
capillary power
Historical image of Fijian warriors with the long traditional hairs of this Melanesian archipelago.
Namosi tropical jungle
Close vegetation at the foot of the Namosi Highlands.
Fijian trio
Mosese S. Jnr, Herry Danford and Samu Sakelago pose in their village.
Vegetation Wall
Verdant scenery from a slope on the bank of the Navua river.
Hairy Warriors
Historical photo shows Fijian warriors with full head of hair.
Welcome Choreography
Young performs a dance, after the kava ceremony of reception of the guests of the clan.
bamboo raft
Native takes visitors along the Navua River.
Mosese S. Jnr
A young man from the Navua side, with the dream of playing ragueby in New Zealand or Australia.
to the mat
Natives of a clan on the banks of the Navua River complete another typical dance.
Luxuriant Trail
Nativo takes a levada along a tributary of the Navua River.
For 2500 years, anthropophagy has been part of everyday life in Fiji. In more recent centuries, the practice has been adorned by a fascinating hair cult. Luckily, only vestiges of the latest fashion remain.

Bula, the Fijian national expression simultaneously means “hello” and “welcome” and is usually uttered with a smile on the lips.

In Fiji, all contact starts with her and friendship passes through kava, a kind of serum obtained from the roots of the homonymous plant. It didn't take us long to try it out.

Arriving at the mouth of the Navua, we join a group about to go upriver to the enigmatic Namosi Highlands. The first part of the expedition includes a visit to a scrub (typical village), and, as tradition dictates, includes a reception ceremony with sharing this drink.

On the village side, Chief Tui conducts the protocol. On behalf of foreigners, there is a leader of convenience chosen by the local guide, with the agreement of the rest of the delegation. The two are seated face to face, flanked by the other elements of their representation.

The Fastidious Fijian Kava Ceremony

There is, then, an endless exchange of words between Tui and the guide William – his son and heir to the position – from which, by repetition, numerous stand out naka, diminutives of the Fijian thank you, which, in full, is pronounced vinaka.

Once the dialogue is over, Chef Tui squeezes the roots of kava for cooper – a large carved wooden vessel. The drink, alcoholic and bitter, is finally served to the participants and generates different reactions ranging from disgust to indifference.

Accustomed to the discomfort of outsiders, the hosts begin exhibiting traditional dances With who, first male and female, then graceful female.

Woman carries out movements of a traditional Fijian dance.

After lunch, the charismatic William takes the floor again and describes the distant past of his village and the chilling tribal life of the Namosi Highlands. 

It is without contemporary reasons for fear that we return to Navua, with the plan to overcome the flow to reach the highlands of the mountain range. Unusual in the vicinity of the ocean, the river quickly changes its appearance.

And, when you least expect it, it appears flanked by impenetrable “forests” of morning glory, bamboo and rival vegetation that create bleak scenes. The fog thickens from the margins and retouches the environment for William's chilling new narratives.

Rio, Fiji, Viti Levu, Cannibalism and Hair

Nativo walks along a tributary of the Navua River

The Long Past of Fiji Islands Cannibalism

This one takes advantage of the enigmatic surroundings and recalls that cannibalism was part of Viti levu and of much of Melanesia for over 2500 years and that the most sophisticated form of revenge for a tribe in Fiji - the epitome of insult to rivals - was, until less than a century ago, on those very shores, to eat their enemies .

Spare the entourage to truly macabre details.

The gorge that welcomes the river tightens as we advance inland and pass long waterfalls that precipitate from the cliffs. At the same time, the forest thickens and aggravates the semi-scary environment that seemed ideal to the director of “Anaconda 2: The Black Orchid”, to shoot another film about escaping the famous reptile saga.

We survived the expedition. As soon as we return to navua, we get in the car, drive to Pacific Harbor and peek at the local market, a peculiar commercial stronghold, stagnant by apparent lack of invoicing and below the plastic refinement of the surrounding resorts. 

There, we find the perfect example of another Fijian historical hobby: hair. 

Mosese S. Jnr, Fiji, Viti Levu, Cannibalism and Hair

m young man from the Navua side, with the dream of playing ragueby in New Zealand or Australia.

Cannibalism apart. Fijians' Obsession with Their Hair

Rockodage Bello dusts his antique shop when we ask if we can photograph her. From inside the blue dress to the flowers, the lady seems to swell with vanity and just begs for a few seconds to get ready.

Through a half-open door, we see her brushing her thick hair over and over again in front of an antique mirror. And just when we think the beautification is over, Rockodage brings us a chair and reminds us, with innate grace, that no one is in a hurry.

Two more minutes pass until, at last, he tucks a small plumer behind his ear and presents himself, radiant, for the photograph. 

capillary helmet

The lush hair of Rockodage Bello, owner of a kind of antique dealer in Pacific Harbour.

The weight of its symbolism has faded over time, but hair has come to play a central role in Fijian society. The size of the wigs marked the masculinity of the bearer but also the social hierarchy of the villages.

It was known that the hair of an ordinary man could not be longer than that of the chief and the hair of women would have to remain inferior to that of their husbands.

Taking these conventions into account, some indigenous people spent hours at local hairdressers looking after their huge hair helmets (sometimes 30 cm long) that they dyed in their favorite colors and patterns.

Historical Hair, Fiji, Viti Levu, Cannibalism and Hair

Historical photo shows Fijian warriors with a full head of hair.

Fashion has faded. Today, despite huge capillary balls still being found, specimens as voluminous as Rockodage's have become rare.

Those that remain, fulfill, in perfection, their function of impressing.

Longsheng, China

Huang Luo: the Chinese Village of the Longest Hairs

In a multi-ethnic region covered with terraced rice paddies, the women of Huang Luo have surrendered to the same hairy obsession. They let the longest hair in the world grow, years on end, to an average length of 170 to 200 cm. Oddly enough, to keep them beautiful and shiny, they only use water and rice.
Viti levu, Fiji

Islands on the edge of Islands

A substantial part of Fiji preserves the agricultural expansions of the British colonial era. In the north and off the large island of Viti Levu, we also came across plantations that have only been named for a long time.
Viti levu, Fiji

The Unlikely Sharing of Viti Levu Island

In the heart of the South Pacific, a large community of Indian descendants recruited by former British settlers and the Melanesian indigenous population have long divided the chief island of Fiji.
Colónia Pellegrini, Argentina

When the Meat is Weak

The unmistakable flavor of Argentine beef is well known. But this wealth is more vulnerable than you think. The threat of foot-and-mouth disease, in particular, keeps authorities and growers afloat.
Malekula, Vanuatu

Meat and Bone Cannibalism

Until the early XNUMXth century, man-eaters still feasted on the Vanuatu archipelago. In the village of Botko we find out why European settlers were so afraid of the island of Malekula.
Navala, Fiji

Fiji's Tribal Urbanism

Fiji has adapted to the invasion of travelers with westernized hotels and resorts. But in the highlands of Viti Levu, Navala keeps its huts carefully aligned.
Serengeti, Great Savannah Migration, Tanzania, wildebeest on river
Serengeti NP, Tanzania

The Great Migration of the Endless Savanna

In these prairies that the Masai people say syringet (run forever), millions of wildebeests and other herbivores chase the rains. For predators, their arrival and that of the monsoon are the same salvation.
Thorong Pedi to High Camp, Annapurna Circuit, Nepal, Lone Walker
Annapurna (circuit)
Annapurna Circuit: 12th - Thorong Phedi a High camp

The Prelude to the Supreme Crossing

This section of the Annapurna Circuit is only 1km away, but in less than two hours it takes you from 4450m to 4850m and to the entrance to the great canyon. Sleeping in High Camp is a test of resistance to Mountain Evil that not everyone passes.
Architecture & Design
napier, New Zealand

Back to the 30s – Old-Fashioned Car Tour

In a city rebuilt in Art Deco and with an atmosphere of the "crazy years" and beyond, the adequate means of transportation are the elegant classic automobiles of that era. In Napier, they are everywhere.
Passengers, scenic flights-Southern Alps, New Zealand
Aoraki / Mount Cook, New Zealand

The Aeronautical Conquest of the Southern Alps

In 1955, pilot Harry Wigley created a system for taking off and landing on asphalt or snow. Since then, his company has unveiled, from the air, some of the greatest scenery in Oceania.
Conflicted Way
Ceremonies and Festivities
Jerusalem, Israel

Through the Belicious Streets of Via Dolorosa

In Jerusalem, while traveling the Via Dolorosa, the most sensitive believers realize how difficult the peace of the Lord is to achieve in the most disputed streets on the face of the earth.
San Cristobal de Las Casas, Chiapas, Zapatismo, Mexico, San Nicolau Cathedral
San Cristobal de Las Casas, Mexico

The Home Sweet Home of Mexican Social Conscience

Mayan, mestizo and Hispanic, Zapatista and tourist, country and cosmopolitan, San Cristobal has no hands to measure. In it, Mexican and expatriate backpacker visitors and political activists share a common ideological demand.
Cocoa, Chocolate, Sao Tome Principe, Agua Izé farm
São Tomé and Principe

Cocoa Roças, Corallo and the Chocolate Factory

At the beginning of the century. In the XNUMXth century, São Tomé and Príncipe generated more cocoa than any other territory. Thanks to the dedication of some entrepreneurs, production survives and the two islands taste like the best chocolate.
scarlet summer

Valencia to Xativa, Spain (España)

Across Iberia

Leaving aside the modernity of Valencia, we explore the natural and historical settings that the "community" shares with the Mediterranean. The more we travel, the more its bright life seduces us.

Bungee jumping, Queenstown, New Zealand
Queenstown, New Zealand

Queenstown, the Queen of Extreme Sports

In the century. XVIII, the Kiwi government proclaimed a mining village on the South Island "fit for a queen".Today's extreme scenery and activities reinforce the majestic status of ever-challenging Queenstown.
Horses under a snow, Iceland Never Ending Snow Island Fire
Husavik a Myvatn, Iceland

Endless Snow on the Island of Fire

When, in mid-May, Iceland already enjoys some sun warmth but the cold and snow persist, the inhabitants give in to an intriguing summer anxiety.
Lifou, Loyalty Islands, New Caledonia, Mme Moline popinée
LifouLoyalty Islands

The Greatest of the Loyalties

Lifou is the island in the middle of the three that make up the semi-francophone archipelago off New Caledonia. In time, the Kanak natives will decide if they want their paradise independent of the distant metropolis.
Sunset, Avenue of Baobabs, Madagascar
Got2Globe Photo Portfolio

days like so many others

Santa Maria, Mother Island of the Azores
Santa Maria, Azores

Santa Maria: the Azores Mother Island

It was the first in the archipelago to emerge from the bottom of the sea, the first to be discovered, the first and only to receive Cristovão Colombo and a Concorde. These are some of the attributes that make Santa Maria special. When we visit it, we find many more.
View from the top of Mount Vaea and the tomb, Vailima village, Robert Louis Stevenson, Upolu, Samoa
Upolu, Samoa

Stevenson's Treasure Island

At age 30, the Scottish writer began looking for a place to save him from his cursed body. In Upolu and the Samoans, he found a welcoming refuge to which he gave his heart and soul.
St. Trinity Church, Kazbegi, Georgia, Caucasus
Winter White
Kazbegi, Georgia

God in the Caucasus Heights

In the 4000th century, Orthodox religious took their inspiration from a hermitage that a monk had erected at an altitude of 5047 m and perched a church between the summit of Mount Kazbek (XNUMXm) and the village at the foot. More and more visitors flock to these mystical stops on the edge of Russia. Like them, to get there, we submit to the whims of the reckless Georgia Military Road.
Lake Manyara, National Park, Ernest Hemingway, Giraffes
Lake Manyara NP, Tanzania

Hemingway's Favorite Africa

Situated on the western edge of the Rift Valley, Lake Manyara National Park is one of the smallest but charming and richest in Europe. wild life of Tanzania. In 1933, between hunting and literary discussions, Ernest Hemingway dedicated a month of his troubled life to him. He narrated those adventurous safari days in “The Green Hills of Africa".
Train Kuranda train, Cairns, Queensland, Australia
Cairns-Kuranda, Australia

Train to the Middle of the Jungle

Built out of Cairns to save miners isolated in the rainforest from starvation by flooding, the Kuranda Railway eventually became the livelihood of hundreds of alternative Aussies.
Sheki, Autumn in the Caucasus, Azerbaijan, Autumn Homes
Sheki, Azerbaijan

autumn in the caucasus

Lost among the snowy mountains that separate Europe from Asia, Sheki is one of Azerbaijan's most iconic towns. Its largely silky history includes periods of great harshness. When we visited it, autumn pastels added color to a peculiar post-Soviet and Muslim life.
Natural Parks

icy blue planet

They form at high latitudes and/or altitudes. In Alaska or New Zealand, Argentina or Chile, rivers of ice are always stunning visions of an Earth as frigid as it is inhospitable.
Boat on the Yellow River, Gansu, China
UNESCO World Heritage
Bingling Yes, China

The Canyon of a Thousand Buddhas

For more than a millennium and at least seven dynasties, Chinese devotees have extolled their religious belief with the legacy of sculpture in a remote strait of the Yellow River. If you disembark in the Canyon of Thousand Buddhas, you may not find all the sculptures, but you will find a stunning Buddhist shrine.
Era Susi towed by dog, Oulanka, Finland
PN Oulanka, Finland

A Slightly Lonesome Wolf

Jukka “Era-Susi” Nordman has created one of the largest packs of sled dogs in the world. He became one of Finland's most iconic characters but remains faithful to his nickname: Wilderness Wolf.
Princess Yasawa Cruise, Maldives

Cruise the Maldives, among Islands and Atolls

Brought from Fiji to sail in the Maldives, Princess Yasawa has adapted well to new seas. As a rule, a day or two of itinerary is enough for the genuineness and delight of life on board to surface.
Police intervention, ultra-Orthodox Jews, Jaffa, Tel Aviv, Israel
Jaffa, Israel

Unorthodox protests

A building in Jaffa, Tel Aviv, threatened to desecrate what ultra-Orthodox Jews thought were remnants of their ancestors. And even the revelation that they were pagan tombs did not deter them from the contestation.
The Toy Train story
On Rails
Siliguri a Darjeeling, India

The Himalayan Toy Train Still Running

Neither the steep slope of some stretches nor the modernity stop it. From Siliguri, in the tropical foothills of the great Asian mountain range, the Darjeeling, with its peaks in sight, the most famous of the Indian Toy Trains has ensured for 117 years, day after day, an arduous dream journey. Traveling through the area, we climb aboard and let ourselves be enchanted.

Defenders of Their Homelands

Even in times of peace, we detect military personnel everywhere. On duty, in cities, they fulfill routine missions that require rigor and patience.
Fruit sellers, Swarm, Mozambique
Daily life
Enxame Mozambique

Mozambican Fashion Service Area

It is repeated at almost all stops in towns of Mozambique worthy of appearing on maps. The machimbombo (bus) stops and is surrounded by a crowd of eager "businessmen". The products offered can be universal such as water or biscuits or typical of the area. In this region, a few kilometers from Nampula, fruit sales suceeded, in each and every case, quite intense.
Fishing, Cano Negro, Costa Rica
Caño Negro, Costa Rica

A Life of Angling among the Wildlife

One of the most important wetlands in Costa Rica and the world, Caño Negro dazzles for its exuberant ecosystem. Not only. Remote, isolated by rivers, swamps and poor roads, its inhabitants have found in fishing a means on board to strengthen the bonds of their community.
The Sounds, Fiordland National Park, New Zealand
Scenic Flights
Fiordland, New Zealand

The Fjords of the Antipodes

A geological quirk made the Fiordland region the rawest and most imposing in New Zealand. Year after year, many thousands of visitors worship the sub-domain slashed between Te Anau and Milford Sound.