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.
Annapurna Circuit, Manang to Yak-kharka
Annapurna (circuit)
Annapurna 10th Circuit: Manang to Yak Kharka, Nepal

On the way to the Annapurnas Even Higher Lands

After an acclimatization break in the near-urban civilization of Manang (3519 m), we made progress again in the ascent to the zenith of Thorong La (5416 m). On that day, we reached the hamlet of Yak Kharka, at 4018 m, a good starting point for the camps at the base of the great canyon.
Visitors at Talisay Ruins, Negros Island, Philippines
Architecture & Design
Talisay City, Philippines

Monument to a Luso-Philippine Love

At the end of the 11th century, Mariano Lacson, a Filipino farmer, and Maria Braga, a Portuguese woman from Macau, fell in love and got married. During the pregnancy of what would be her 2th child, Maria succumbed to a fall. Destroyed, Mariano built a mansion in his honor. In the midst of World War II, the mansion was set on fire, but the elegant ruins that endured perpetuate their tragic relationship.

Mountains of Fire

More or less prominent ruptures in the earth's crust, volcanoes can prove to be as exuberant as they are capricious. Some of its eruptions are gentle, others prove annihilating.
Ceremonies and Festivities

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.
Museum of Petroleum, Stavanger, Norway
Stavanger, Norway

The Motor City of Norway

The abundance of offshore oil and natural gas and the headquarters of the companies in charge of exploiting them have promoted Stavanger from the Norwegian energy capital preserve. Even so, this city didn't conform. With a prolific historical legacy, at the gates of a majestic fjord, cosmopolitan Stavanger has long propelled the Land of the Midnight Sun.
Tsukiji fish market, Tokyo, Japan
Tokyo, Japan

The Fish Market That Lost its Freshness

In a year, each Japanese eats more than their weight in fish and shellfish. Since 1935, a considerable part was processed and sold in the largest fish market in the world. Tsukiji was terminated in October 2018, and replaced by Toyosu's.
combat arbiter, cockfighting, philippines

When Only Cock Fights Wake Up the Philippines

Banned in much of the First World, cockfighting thrives in the Philippines where they move millions of people and pesos. Despite its eternal problems, it is the sabong that most stimulates the nation.
Spectator, Melbourne Cricket Ground-Rules footbal, Melbourne, Australia
Melbourne, Australia

The Football the Australians Rule

Although played since 1841, Australian Football has only conquered part of the big island. Internationalization has never gone beyond paper, held back by competition from rugby and classical football.
extraterrestrial mural, Wycliffe Wells, Australia
Wycliffe Wells, Australia

Wycliffe Wells' Unsecret Files

Locals, UFO experts and visitors have been witnessing sightings around Wycliffe Wells for decades. Here, Roswell has never been an example and every new phenomenon is communicated to the world.
Reindeer Racing, Kings Cup, Inari, Finland
Inari, Finland

The Wackiest Race on the Top of the World

Finland's Lapps have been competing in the tow of their reindeer for centuries. In the final of the Kings Cup - Porokuninkuusajot - , they face each other at great speed, well above the Arctic Circle and well below zero.
Sunset, Avenue of Baobabs, Madagascar
Got2Globe Photo Portfolio

days like so many others

Garranos gallop across the plateau above Castro Laboreiro, PN Peneda-Gerês, Portugal
Castro Laboreiro, Portugal  

From Castro de Laboreiro to the Rim of the Peneda – Gerês Range

We arrived at (i) the eminence of Galicia, at an altitude of 1000m and even more. Castro Laboreiro and the surrounding villages stand out against the granite monumentality of the mountains and the Planalto da Peneda and Laboreiro. As do its resilient people who, sometimes handed over to Brandas and sometimes to Inverneiras, still call these stunning places home.
Moorea aerial view
Moorea, French Polynesia

The Polynesian Sister Any Island Would Like to Have

A mere 17km from Tahiti, Moorea does not have a single city and is home to a tenth of its inhabitants. Tahitians have long watched the sun go down and transform the island next door into a misty silhouette, only to return to its exuberant colors and shapes hours later. For those who visit these remote parts of the Pacific, getting to know Moorea is a double privilege.
Era Susi towed by dog, Oulanka, Finland
Winter White
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.
silhouette and poem, Cora coralina, Goias Velho, Brazil
Goiás Velho, Brazil

The Life and Work of a Marginal Writer

Born in Goiás, Ana Lins Bretas spent most of her life far from her castrating family and the city. Returning to its origins, it continued to portray the prejudiced mentality of the Brazilian countryside
Maori Haka, Waitangi Treaty Grounds, New Zealand
bay of islands, New Zealand

New Zealand's Civilization Core

Waitangi is the key place for independence and the long-standing coexistence of native Maori and British settlers. In the surrounding Bay of Islands, the idyllic marine beauty of the New Zealand antipodes is celebrated, but also the complex and fascinating kiwi nation.
Mother Armenia Statue, Yerevan, Armenia
Yerevan, Armenia

A Capital between East and West

Heiress of the Soviet civilization, aligned with the great Russia, Armenia allows itself to be seduced by the most democratic and sophisticated ways of Western Europe. In recent times, the two worlds have collided in the streets of your capital. From popular and political dispute, Yerevan will dictate the new course of the nation.
Argentinean flag on the Perito Moreno-Argentina lake-glacier
Natural Parks
Perito Moreno Glacier, Argentina

The Resisting Glacier

Warming is supposedly global, but not everywhere. In Patagonia, some rivers of ice resist. From time to time, the advance of the Perito Moreno causes landslides that bring Argentina to a halt.
Kayaking on Lake Sinclair, Cradle Mountain - Lake Sinclair National Park, Tasmania, Australia
UNESCO World Heritage
Discovering tassie, Part 4 - Devonport to Strahan, Australia

Through the Tasmanian Wild West

If the almost antipode tazzie is already a australian world apart, what about its inhospitable western region. Between Devonport and Strahan, dense forests, elusive rivers and a rugged coastline beaten by an almost Antarctic Indian ocean generate enigma and respect.
aggie gray, Samoa, South Pacific, Marlon Brando Fale
Apia, Western Samoa

The Host of the South Pacific

She sold burguês to GI's in World War II and opened a hotel that hosted Marlon Brando and Gary Cooper. Aggie Gray passed away in 2. Her legacy lives on in the South Pacific.
Bather, The Baths, Devil's Bay (The Baths) National Park, Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands
Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands

Virgin Gorda's Divine “Caribbaths”

Discovering the Virgin Islands, we disembark on a tropical and seductive seaside dotted with huge granite boulders. The Baths seem straight out of the Seychelles but they are one of the most exuberant marine scenery in the Caribbean.
Miyajima Island, Shinto and Buddhism, Japan, Gateway to a Holy Island
Miyajima, Japan

Shintoism and Buddhism with the Tide

Visitors to the Tori of Itsukushima admire one of the three most revered scenery in Japan. On the island of Miyajima, Japanese religiosity blends with Nature and is renewed with the flow of the Seto Inland Sea.
Serra do Mar train, Paraná, airy view
On Rails
Curitiba a Morretes, Paraná, Brazil

Down Paraná, on Board the Train Serra do Mar

For more than two centuries, only a winding and narrow road connected Curitiba to the coast. Until, in 1885, a French company opened a 110 km railway. We walked along it to Morretes, the final station for passengers today. 40km from the original coastal terminus of Paranaguá.
Magome to Tsumago, Nakasendo, Path medieval Japan
Magome-Tsumago, Japan

Magome to Tsumago: The Overcrowded Path to the Medieval Japan

In 1603, the Tokugawa shogun dictated the renovation of an ancient road system. Today, the most famous stretch of the road that linked Edo to Kyoto is covered by a mob eager to escape.
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.
Etosha National Park Namibia, rain
PN Etosha, Namíbia

The Lush Life of White Namibia

A vast salt flat rips through the north of Namibia. The Etosha National Park that surrounds it proves to be an arid but providential habitat for countless African wild species.
Bungee jumping, Queenstown, New Zealand
Scenic Flights
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.