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An identity claimed?: The case of Tamavua-i-Wai

Narawa-Daurewa, Unaisi Q. (2012) An identity claimed?: The case of Tamavua-i-Wai. [Conference Proceedings]

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‘Land is integral to the identity of Pacific Islanders and in Fiji; this could not be truer. As Ratu Mosese Volavola once said, “For the Fijian community, their land is an extension of themselves. It is part of the Fijian soul, and the concept of the "vanua"-the land and the people-lies at the heart of Fijian identity. Land represents life and sustenance, race and culture, and Fijians cling fiercely to their ownership of it”. Much has been written about the conflict that occurs between descendants of the indentured system and the iTaukei while at the same time, failing to acknowledge other groups also competing for an identity in Fiji. The British colonial government’s aims to protect the rights and way of life of indigenous Fijians (and colonial economic imperatives) necessitated the importation of not only indentured Indians to Fiji but also groups of Melanesians from Solomon Islands and Vanuatu. Although there is extensive inter-marriage with the iTaukei, the small Melanesian community retains a distinct identity. Many cannot claim land rights and so have settled on land that has been leased, in most cases, by the Anglican Church in Fiji. In 2008, a ruling in the High Court of Fiji was significant in the fight for an identity by this community by allowing them to remain on land that had been given to them by the customary owners. This paper looks at the type of identity that they will construct for themselves after this ruling and whether it will be a separate identity from the iTaukei and whether the identity will offer them more or less legal protection from the government.’

Item Type: Conference Proceedings
Subjects: K Law > K Law (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Arts, Law and Education (FALE) > School of Law
Depositing User: Unnamed user with email
Date Deposited: 13 May 2013 03:35
Last Modified: 08 Jan 2017 21:36

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