Photo Essays Index

The photo essay below is the thirteenth installment of a personal account of my two years in Fiji and Rotuma from October 1959 through August 1961. The main purpose of this project is to provide photographic images that might be of interest to contemporary Rotumans.

I have forgotten the names of some of the people who appear in the photos and would welcome your help in identifying them. Information identifying people should be sent to <> Please identify the photos by the numbers (#) in the captions.

Episode 13: Gagaj Fer's Kiu

#kiu02 Part of the kiu stacked up in Mofmanu

In October 1960 the men from Losa initiated the celebration of a kiu in honor of Gagaj Fer of Itu'ti'u. The term kiu means ten thousand, the same as äf saghulu. Kiu also refers to a custom in Rotuma in which a chief is presented with 10,000 taro corms as a sign of respect. Since the kiu was prepared by the men from only one village (16 of them), they had to spread it over a period of several weeks. Usually a kiu is prepared by the men from an entire district, so this was quite an amazing feat. The presentations were made in Mofmanu, Motusa, and were accompanied by feasting, dancing, and general merry-making. Since not even a chief can consume 10,000 taros, Gagaj Fer divided them up and distributed them to the chiefs and sub-chiefs of the various districts, according to Rotuman custom.

#404 Mafua from Losa announcing food for feast
#ad04 Gagaj Fer of Itu'ti'u
#403 Kiji and Motofaga
#395 Men from Losa dancing
#396 Men from Losa dancing

continued . . .

Photo Essays Index