Ancestor Worship Among the Fijians — Ebook
(From Cannibalism to Christianity)
|Basil H. Thomson, Frank Coffee
|Literature and Knowledge Publishing
|History / Oceania
Like other primitive peoples, the Fijians deified their ancestors. The father ruled the family. Each member of it turned to him for the ordering of his daily life. No scheme entered the head of the young man that did not depend upon the consent or prohibition of the head of his family. Suddenly the father died. How were his sons to rid themselves of the idea of his controlling influence that had guided them ever since they were born, even though they had buried his body? He had been wont to threaten them with punishment for disobedience, and even now, when they did the things of which he disapproved in life, punishment was sure to follow — the crops failed, a hurricane unroofed the hut, floods swept away the canoe... In reading the early history of Fiji, one sickens at the prominence given to the atrocious acts of cannibalism — the fattening, the clubbing and the roasting of hecatombs of human beings. It was in such a hell on earth that the first missionaries trusted their lives, and the change that has been effected through them is wonderful. Christianity was first made known to the Fijians of the eastern group by the reports of the Tongans from the Friendly Islands, where the Wesleyans already had a thriving mission.