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‘We visit the colo towns … when it is safe to go’: indigenous adoption of methodist christianity in the Wainibuka and Wainimala valleys, Fiji, in the 1870s

Weir, Christine H. (2014) ‘We visit the colo towns … when it is safe to go’: indigenous adoption of methodist christianity in the Wainibuka and Wainimala valleys, Fiji, in the 1870s. The Journal of Pacific History, 49 (2). pp. 129-150. ISSN 0022-3344

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Abstract

The Methodist Mission in Fiji was from its inception maritime in nature, and was slow to move into the interior of the largest island, Viti Levu. In the 1870s only two European missionaries ministered to most of Viti Levu, leaving the greater part of evangelism and teaching in the hands of Fijian Native Ministers (talatala itaukei) and particularly teachers (vakavuvuli). Using evidence from mission and secular travellers in the eastern highlands areas of the Wainimala and Wainibuka valleys, this article suggests that the measles epidemic of 1875, while horrific in its direct effects, did not lead to widespread rejection of Christianity in the valleys of eastern Colo. Rather, Methodism progressed slowly, developing in ways which maintained Fijian priorities and customary practices, and the forms of education and fundraising adopted included indigenous modes of learning and exchange.

Item Type: Journal Article
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Divisions: Faculty of Arts, Law and Education (FALE) > School of Social Sciences
Depositing User: Repo Editor
Date Deposited: 28 Aug 2015 10:47
Last Modified: 08 Sep 2016 15:17
URI: http://repository.usp.ac.fj/id/eprint/8394
UNSPECIFIED

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