The Conflict Of Indigenous Fijians And Indo Fijians : Ethnic Conflict With Political Consequences
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The Conflict of Indigenous-Fijians and Indo-Fijians:
Ethnic Conflict With Political Consequences
October 6, 2016
Fiji is composed of 332 islands in which approximately a third are inhabited. The two main and largest islands are Vanua Levu and Viti Levu. Fiji is very multicultural due to a variety of different settlers throughout the centuries as well as the indentured slave trade system introduced in the late 1900’s. European settlers in the early 19th century made a large impact on Fiji’s economic trade and fueled Fiji’s political tension between indigenous Fijians and Indo-Fijians for decades to come.
Fiji has had several waves of settlers, the first starting as early as 3500 BP. It is believed that both the Melanesians and the Polynesians, referred to as Lapitas , were the first to inhabit Fiji, coming from close by islands. Melanesians, known as the dark skinned and fuzzy-haired people, originally came from western Melanesia and began settling on Fiji’s largest island, Viti Levu. Polynesians had lighter skin and straight hair, and were known to dominate the ocean with their great navigational skills. Ancestors of both Polynesian and Melanesian people began moving to the islands of Tongoa and Samoa. The islands had distinctive characteristics, but the Polynesian and Melanesian characteristics also began to blend as well. The indigenous iTaukei represent 56.8 percent of Fiji’s population. Many