dimanche 9 octobre 2011

Fiji: The repentance of a cannibal village.


Fiji, once called "cannibal islands", cannibalism was widespread. Human flesh was compared to the "big pig".

         Australian Pastor Thomas Baker of London Missionary Society arrived in Fiji in 1859 is one of the latest victims of cannibals Nawawabalevu Nabutautau.

         "I do not fear the natives and we hope to bring them good,"
he wrote in his last letter to his wife, exposed in the Museum of Fiji.

         On July 21, 1867, the Rev. Thomas Baker and eight Fijian of his followers were killed with the hatchet. Their bodies thrown into a ravine, recovered and skinned on top of a hill.

         "We ate everything except boots,"
says a witness of the drama.

         This act of cannibalism on this mission is the cause of a curse as some 200 secular members of the community Nabutautau.

         They consider themselves victims of a curse because the village in the mountains inland from the main island of the archipelago, Viti Levu, is deprived of the lush vegetation dominant in the region, and its 120 inhabitants are struggling to feed themselves.

         The village has neither a school nor roads or medical equipment, he sees all grant applications rejected and cannabis are wreaking havoc.

         For since the massacre, is a village cursed Nabutautau believe its inhabitants. Many family lines have disappeared, no child has been able to go beyond high school ...

         "The other Fijians want us to be punished for what happened,"
said Tomasi Baravilala, a village elder. The village children have every weekend and go 25 miles on foot through the jungle to join a school.

         Years after this act of cannibalism, the descendants Fijian hear lift the curse befallen their community by repenting of their past cannibal. They will ask forgiveness from the eleven descendants of Rev. Baker from making the trip from Australia, deeply regretted what had happened.

         Receiving journalists in his village, Mr. Tomasi Baravilala launched "Tell the world that we ask we receive forgiveness and perhaps more help."


         Break in the chain of the curse the middle of a circle of tents erected in the village, the ceremony opened with the ritual of kava, a traditional drink.

         Its high point was "breaking the chain of the curse,"
symbolized by a release of balloons made by the family of Thomas Baker. Youth of the village have also played a part where the local pastor who had brandished the ax used to kill the Rev. Baker.

         "They thought it was going to be a small ceremony and they found themselves next to the Prime Minister and the general council of chiefs,"
 told a descendant of the missionary.

         Together, they participated in a rite of reconciliation rather complex, the "I sorotabu", which hopefully is in Nubutautau, lift the curse.

         During "have sorotabu", 100 sperm whale teeth were given to eleven descendants of Methodist missionary.

         In his time, the missionary had also made such an offering, then the sensible safeguard the ferocity of the tribes of the mountains. The villagers have also returned to the family bible Baker, his comb and the soles of his boots.

         The President of Fiji, Laisenia Qarase (2000-2006) for his part described as "beautiful act"
the initiative of the villagers of Nabutautau.

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