Fijian culture in Beqa Lagoon
Caption: Fire walker from Beqa Island displaying his abilities walking on blazing magmatic rocks
Fiji’s culture, economy, as well as a rich biodiversity inheritance depend strongly on traditional knowledge. These roots of Fijian society are endangered by modern urban-industrial development and education. Thus it is important to create awareness of cultural and ecological importance, and give tools and plans that will be available for use by future generations, emphasising traditional knowledge and unique customs practiced in Beqa Lagoon.
Traditional knowledge and customs have always been transferred between generations by story-telling, either by the elders in gatherings or by Meke, a story told through a unique dance. These occurrences are disappearing, together with the stories and the peoples’ identity. These stories will include traditional ways of managing the natural resources, like farming and fishing, as well as on the origin of their tradition and rituals.
Some of the most intriguing ritual in Fiji is Beqa Island’s Fire-walkers. A legendary group of a few clans from Beqa, who received the godly power to exhibit their power and walk on blazing magmatic rocks, a custom still displayed nowadays.
Beqa Lagoon is famed for the legend of the fierce shark gods. The shark gods Dakuwaqa (pronounced Daku-wanga) from Rukua on Beqa Island, and Masilaca (pronounced Masi-latha) from Yanuca Island, who are blood linked and have been guarding the sea-going people of the area for millennia.