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The Lau Islands
Lau Islands
(also called the Lau Group, the Eastern Group, the Eastern Archipelago) of Fiji
Fiji
are situated in the southern Pacific Ocean, just east of the Koro Sea. Of this chain of about sixty islands and islets, about thirty are inhabited. The Lau Group covers a land area of 188 square miles (487 square km), and had a population of 10,683 at the most recent census in 2007. While most of the northern Lau Group are high islands of volcanic origin, those of the south are mostly carbonate low islands. Administratively the islands belong to Lau Province.

Contents

1 History 2 Culture and economy 3 Notable Lauans 4 See also 5 References 6 References 7 Further reading 8 External links

History[edit]

The Lau Islands

The British explorer James Cook
James Cook
reached Vatoa
Vatoa
in 1774. By the time of the discovery of the Ono Group in 1820, the Lau archipelago was the most mapped area of Fiji. Political unity came late to the Lau Islands. Historically, they comprised three territories: the Northern Lau Islands, the Southern Lau Islands, and the Moala Islands. Around 1855, the renegade Tongan prince Enele Ma'afu
Enele Ma'afu
conquered the region and established a unified administration. Calling himself the Tui Lau, or King of Lau, he promulgated a constitution and encouraged the establishment of Christian missions. The first missionaries had arrived at Lakeba
Lakeba
in 1830, but had been expelled. The Tui Nayau, who had been the nominal overlord of the Lau Islands, became subject to Ma'afu. The Tui Nayau and Tui Lau titles came into personal union in 1969, when Ratu
Ratu
Sir Kamisese Mara, who had already been installed as Tui Lau in 1963 by the Yavusa Tonga, was also installed as Tui Nayau following the death of his father Ratu
Ratu
Tevita Uluilakeba III in 1966. The title Tui Lau was left vacant from his uncle, Ratu
Ratu
Sir Lala Sukuna, in 1958 as referenced in Mara, The Pacific Way Paper. The Northern Lau Islands, which extended as far south as Tuvuca, were under the overlordship of Taveuni
Taveuni
and paid tribute to the Tui Cakau (Paramount Chief of Cakaudrove). In 1855, however, Ma'afu gained sovereignty over Northern Lau, establishing Lomaloma, on Vanua Balavu, as his capital. The Southern Lau Islands
Lau Islands
extended from Ono-i-Lau, in the far south, to as far north as Cicia. They were the traditional chiefdom of the Tui Nayau, but with Ma'afu's conquest in the 1850s, he became subject to Tongan supremacy. The Moala Islands had closer affiliation with Bau Island
Bau Island
and Lomaiviti than with Lau, but Ma'afu's conquest united them with the Lau Islands. They have remained administratively a part of the Lau Province ever since. Culture and economy[edit] See also: Fiji– Tonga
Tonga
relations § Minerva Reefs
Minerva Reefs
and Mara conflicts Since they lie between Melanesian Fiji
Fiji
and Polynesian Tonga, the Lau Islands are a meeting point of the two cultural spheres. Lauan villages remain very traditional, and the islands' inhabitants are renowned for their wood carving and masi paintings. Lakeba
Lakeba
especially was a traditional meeting place between Tongans and Fijians. The south-east trade winds allowed sailors to travel from Tonga
Tonga
to Fiji, but much harder to return. The Lau Island culture became more Fijian rather than Polynesian beginning around 500 BC.[1] However, Tongan influence can still be found in names, language, food, and architecture. Unlike the square-shaped ends characterizing most houses elsewhere in Fiji, Lauan houses tend to be rounded, following the Tongan practice. In early July 2014, Tonga's Lands Minister, Lord Maʻafu Tukuiʻaulahi, revealed a proposal for Tonga
Tonga
to give the disputed Minerva Reefs
Minerva Reefs
to Fiji
Fiji
in exchange for the Lau Group.[2] At the time that news of the proposal first broke, it had not yet been discussed with the Lau Provincial Council.[3] Many Lauans have Tongan ancestors and some Tongans have Lauan ancestors; Tonga's Lands Minister is named after Enele Ma'afu, the Tongan Prince who originally claimed parts of Lau for Tonga.[4] Historically, the Minerva Reefs
Minerva Reefs
have been part of the fishing grounds belonging to the people of Ono-i-Lau, an island in the Lau Group.[5] Just off the island of Vanua Balavu
Vanua Balavu
at Lomaloma
Lomaloma
was the Yanuyanu Island Resort, built to encourage tourism in what has been a less accessible area of Fiji, but the small resort failed almost immediately and has been abandoned since the year 2000. An airstrip is located off Malaka village and a port is also located on Vanua Balavu, at Lomaloma. There are guest houses on Vanua Balavu
Vanua Balavu
and on Lakeba, the other principal island. The Lau Islands
Lau Islands
are the centre of the game of Cricket
Cricket
in Fiji. Cricket is the most popular team sport in Lau, unlike the rest of the country where Rugby and Association Football are preferred. The national team is invariably dominated by Lauan players. Notable Lauans[edit] The Lau Islands' most famous son is the late Ratu
Ratu
Sir Kamisese Mara (1920-2004), the Tui Lau, Tui Nayau, Sau ni Vanua (hereditary Paramount Chief of the Lau Islands) and the founding father of modern Fiji
Fiji
who was Prime Minister for most of the period between 1967 and 1992, and President from 1993 to 2000. Other noted Lauans include Ratu Sir Lala Sukuna
Lala Sukuna
(1898-1958), who forged embryonic constitutional institutions for Fiji
Fiji
in the years that preceded independence. Other notable Lauans include:

Politicians: Jonati Mavoa held many ministerial portfolios in the early part of Fiji's transition to self-government, Charles Walker who held several portfolios in the Alliance government before becoming a Diplomat, Nelson Delailomaloma who was Permanent Secretary of Education and Minister in the Interim Government, former Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase, former Attorney-General Qoriniasi Bale, former Minister of Education Filipe Bole, Ambassador to China Esala Teleni, and former Cabinet Minister Lavenia Padarath. Current First Lady Adi Koila Nailatikau
Koila Nailatikau
is also Lauan, being the daughter of Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara. Bureaucrats: Include former permanent secretaries Marika Tukituku, Solomone Makasiale, Joji Kotobalavu, Solomone Sila and current permanent secretary Jale Fotofili First Fijian Chief Justice (Sir Timoci Tuivaga), First Fijian President of Methodist church Setareki Tuilovoni Sports: I. L. Bula cricketer, former Heavy Weight Boxing
Boxing
Champion Sunia Cama(Rugby: Joeli Veitayaki, Bill Cavubati, Sunia Koto) Youth leaders: Roko Jonetani (Pita) Waqavonovono, Roko Liwaki Uluilakeba, and Jackie Koroivulaono.

Given its small population, the Lau Islands' contribution to the leadership of Fiji
Fiji
has been disproportionately large.[citation needed] See also[edit]

Lau Basin Lau Ridge

References[edit]

Islands of History - Page 75, by Marshall David Sahlins - 1987 - 200 pages 20th Century Fiji, edited by Stewart Firth & Daryl Tarte - 2001 - ISBN 982-01-0421-1 Fiji. - Page 237, by Korina Miller, Robyn Jones, Leonardo Pinheiro – 2003, Published by Lonely Planet

References[edit]

^ Rotuma: Language and History, 1999. ^ Gopal, Avinesh (3 July 2014). "'Give up Lau'". Fiji
Fiji
Times. Retrieved 3 July 2014.  ^ Gopal, Avinesh (4 July 2014). "Lau 'in the dark'". Fiji
Fiji
Times. Retrieved 3 July 2014.  ^ Staff (3 July 2014). "Lord Ma'afu wants Lau for Minerva Reef". Nuku’alofa: Tonga
Tonga
Daily News. Archived from the original on 7 July 2014. Retrieved 3 July 2014.  ^ " Tonga
Tonga
et Fidji se disputent le Récif de la Minerve", ABC Radio Australia (in French), 9 February 2011 (Archived from the original on 7 July 2011.)

Further reading[edit]

Lau Islands, Fiji, By A.M Hocart, Bernice Bishop Museum Bulletin
Bernice Bishop Museum Bulletin
62, 1929 Islands, Islanders and the World: Colonial and Post-colonial Experience of Eastern Fiji. By T.P.Bayliss- Smith, Published by Cambridge University Press. World Atlas of Coral Reefs - Page 344, by Corinna Ravilious, Mark D. Spalding, Edmund Peter Green, World Conservation Monitoring Centre – 2001, Published by University of California Press Tovata I & II, AC Reid. Fiji: Oceania printers Fiji
Fiji
(1990) Cyclopedia of Lau Illustrated, Publisher Pure Blue Fiji
Fiji
Ltd. The Lau Islands
Lau Islands
(Fiji) and Their Fairy Tales and Folklore. T[homas] R[eginald] St. Johnston, Published 1918 by The Times book co., ltd. Original from the University of Michigan, Digitized Dec 15, 2006.

External links[edit]

Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Lau Islands.

Lau group (with map) Ethnography of the Lau Islands Vanua Balavu
Vanua Balavu
Information A Newspaper article with General information on Lau

v t e

Political divisions of Fiji

Divisions

Central Eastern Northern Western

Provinces

Ba Bua Cakaudrove Kadavu Lau Lomaiviti Macuata Nadroga Navosa Naitasiri Namosi Ra Rewa Serua Tailevu

Dependency

Rotuma

Cities

Lautoka Suva

Towns

Ba Labasa Lami Levuka Nadi Nasinu Nausori Savusavu Sigatoka Tavua

v t e

Culture of indigenous Oceania

List of resources about traditional arts and culture of Oceania

Art

Ahu Australia Austronesia Cook Islands Hawaiʻi kapa (Hawaiʻi) Lei magimagi moai New Zealand

Māori

nguzu nguzu Oceania Papua New Guinea reimiro tā moko tabua ta'ovala tapa ["masi" (Fiji), "ngatu" (Tonga), "siapo" (Sāmoa), " ʻuha" (Rotuma)] tattoo tēfui tivaevae

Broad culture

areca nut kava, " ʻawa" (Hawaii), "yaqona" (Fiji), or "sakau" (Pohnpei) Kava
Kava
culture Lapita Māori Polynesia Polynesian navigation Sāmoa 'ava ceremony wood carving

Geo-specific, general

Australia

Australian Aboriginal astronomy)

Austronesia Caroline Islands, -Pwo Chatham Islands Cook Islands Easter Island Fiji

Lau Islands traditions and ceremonies

Guam Hawaiʻi

Lomilomi massage

Kiribati French Polynesia's Marquesas Islands Marshall Islands

Stick charts of

Federated States of Micronesia Nauru New Caledonia New Zealand Niue Norfolk Island Palau Papua New Guinea Pitcairn Islands Sāmoa Solomon Islands Tonga Torres Strait Islands Tuvalu Vanuatu Wallis and Futuna Yap

navigation Weriyeng navigation school

Canoes

Aboriginal Dugout Alingano Maisu Bangka Drua Dugout (boat) Hawaiʻiloa Hōkūleʻa Kaep Karakoa Malia (Hawaiian) Māori migration Outrigger Paraw Polynesian sailing Proa Vinta Waka

list

Walap

Dance

'Aparima cibi fara fire dancing firewalking haka hivinau hula kailao kapa haka Kiribati meke 'ote'a pa'o'a poi Rotuma siva Tahiti tāmūrē tautoga Tonga 'upa'upa

Festivals

Australia

Garma Festival

Hawaiʻi

Aloha Festivals Merrie Monarch Festival World Invitational Hula
Hula
Festival

Fiji New Zealand

Pasifika Festival

The Pacific Community

Festival of Pacific Arts

Papua New Guinea

Languages

by area

v t e

Languages of Oceania

Sovereign states

Australia Federated States of Micronesia Fiji Kiribati Marshall Islands Nauru New Zealand Palau Papua New Guinea Samoa Solomon Islands Tonga Tuvalu Vanuatu

Associated states of New Zealand

Cook Islands Niue

Dependencies and other territories

American Samoa Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Easter Island French Polynesia Guam Hawaii New Caledonia Norfolk Island Northern Mariana Islands Pitcairn Islands Tokelau Wallis and Futuna

by category

Languages of Oceania

Literature

v t e

Literature of Oceania

Sovereign states

Australia Federated States of Micronesia Fiji Kiribati Marshall Islands Nauru New Zealand Palau Papua New Guinea Samoa Solomon Islands Tonga Tuvalu Vanuatu

Associated states of New Zealand

Cook Islands Niue

Dependencies and other territories

American Samoa Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Easter Island French Polynesia Guam Hawaii New Caledonia Norfolk Island Northern Mariana Islands Pitcairn Islands Tokelau Wallis and Futuna

Music

Austral Islands (French Polynesia) Australia Austronesia Cook Islands Easter Island Fiji Guam Hawaiʻi Kiribati Lali Melanesia Micronesia Federated States of Micronesia Nauru New Caledonia New Zealand

Māori

Niue Northern Mariana Islands Palau Papua New Guinea Polynesia Sāmoa Slit drum Solomon Islands Tahiti Tokelau Tonga Tuvalu Vanuatu Wallis and Futuna

Mythology

Australian Aboriginal Fijian Hawaiian Mangarevan Maohi Māori Melanesian Menehune Micronesian Oceanian legendary creatures Polynesian Rapa Nui Samoan Tuvaluan Vanuatuan

Research

Asian American and Pacific Islander Policy Research Consortium Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies

People

Indigneous Australian Austronesian Bajau Chamorro Chatham Islander (Moriori or Rekohu) Fijian (iTaukei) Igorot Hawaiian (kānaka maoli) Māori Marshallese Melanesian Micronesian Negrito Norfolk Islander Papuan Polynesian Indigenous Polynesian (Mā’ohi) Rapa Nui Rotuman Ryukyuan Samoan (Tagata Māo‘i) Tahitian Taiwanese aborigines Tongan Torres Strait Islander Yami

Religion

v t e

Religion in Oceania

Sovereign states

Australia Federated States of Micronesia Fiji Kiribati Marshall Islands Nauru New Zealand Palau Papua New Guinea Samoa Solomon Islands Tonga Tuvalu Vanuatu

Associated states of New Zealand

Cook Islands Niue

Dependencies and other territories

American Samoa Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Easter Island French Polynesia Guam Hawaii New Caledonia Norfolk Island Northern Mariana Islands Pitcairn Islands Tokelau Wallis and Futuna

Not included: Oceanian: cinema, (indigenous) currency, dress, folkore, cuisine. Also see Category:Oceanian culture.

v t e

Lau Islands

Northern Lau Islands

Cicia Kaibu Kanacea Mago Malima Munia Island Namalata Naitaba Nayau Tuvuca Vanua Balavu Vatu Vara Wailagi Lala Yacata

Southern Lau Islands

Aiwa Fulaga Kabara Komo Lakeba Moce Moka Namuka-i-Lau Ogea Driki Ogea Levu Olorua Oneata Vanua Vatu Vuaqava Yagasa Levu

Moala Islands

Matuku Island Moala Island Totoya

Outliers

Bacon Island Cakau Lasemarawa Doi Late-i-Toga Late-i-Viti Ono-i-Lau Tuvana-i-Colo Tuvana-i-Ra Vatoa Yanuca

v t e

Islands of Fiji

Principal islands

Viti Levu Vanua Levu

Significant outliers

Conway Reef Kadavu Taveuni Rotuma

Archipelagos

Kadavu Group Lau Islands Lomaiviti Islands Mamanuca Islands Moala Islands Ringgold Isles Rotuma
Rotuma
Group Vanua Levu
Vanua Levu
Group Viti Levu
Viti Levu
Group Yasawa Islands

Authority control

GND: 4407709-9

Coordinates: 17°50′S 178°40′E / 17.833°S 178.667°E / -17.