…on October 10, 1874, Britain began its rule of Fiji, which lasted until October 10, 1970. Prior to that, archaeological evidence reveals that Fiji had been inhabited by Melanesian peoples for thousands of years. The first American ships arrived in the 19th century attracted by the resources of sandalwood (which were exhausted within ten years) and subsequently traders and Christian missionaries flocked to the island. Later, Europeans began establishing cotton plantations but came into conflict with the Fijians warriors. The solution to that problem was to introduce to the Fijians an increased availability of guns to solve inter-tribal conflicts and of course the aggressive conversion of Methodist Christianity by the newly arrived missionaries. Thus the deadly fights between clans (now with guns) and the ‘christianizing’ of the rest, successfully destroyed the traditional Fijian culture.
photo: 1900 Fijian sistas displaying her beautiful hairdo