Turaga na Vunivalu ni Bau
is the Paramount Chief of the Kubuna Confederacy
, loosely translated the title means Warlord of Bau
or Root of War. The succession to the title does not follow primogeniture
, but the candidate must be a high ranking member of the Tui Kaba
A brief history
The Vunivalu was not always the senior Chieftain in Kubuna and Bau the title was considered subordinate to the Roko Tui Bau
. Power struggles between the various chiefly households came to a head with the exile of the Vunivalu Tanoa Visawaqa
in the early 1800s after a series of murders and reprisals. His son Seru Epenisa Cakobau
however was allowed to remain in Bau during his fathers exile. Cakobau gained power by subverting the Lasakau people to plot and execute the overthrow of the ruling group, led by Ratu Ravulo Vakayaliyalo, in 1837; Seru Epenisa Cakobau then reinstated his father as ruler.
Cakobau eventually succeeded to the title himself. He created much of its prestige by styling himself King of Fiji; he led the process that culminated in cession of the islands to the United Kingdom in 1874
The position has been vacant since the death of the last Vunivalu, Ratu Sir George Cakobau, in 1989.
Search for a successor
Recently, there have been moves to choose a successor. On 9 June 2005
, Senator Ratu George Cakobau, Jr.
(son of the last Vunivalu
) announced that the chiefs of Matanitu o Bau
(the traditional chiefly government of Bau, which includes the districts of Dravo
, and Nuku
), had selected four chiefly candidates, to be submitted to the Tui Kaba clan, which will be asked to choose one of them as the next Vunivalu.
The four candidates are Ratu George Cakobau, Jr. himself, his brother Ratu Epenisa Cakobau
, Ratu George Kadavulevu Naulivou
, and former Vice-President Ratu Jope Seniloli
. A second meeting held a week later tentatively proposed Senator Cakobau as the new Vunivalu.
Senator Cakobau's appointment has not been finalized and is not without controversy. Adi Finau Tabakaucoro, a member of the Tui Kaba clan and a senior chief, complained on 27 June that the proper procedures were not being followed. The new Vunivalu should be elected by the whole clan, she said, rather than chosen by a few elders. She thought it wrong to exclude from the list of candidates the name of Senator Cakobau's sister, Adi Samanunu Talakuli Cakobau, because she was the eldest child of the last Vunivalu.
The Vunivalu when installed, also takes the title of Tui Levuka, as he is the traditional leader of the Levuka people of Lakeba
. The wife of the Vunivalu is titled Radini Levuka
Vunivalu of Bau
- Fiji and the Fijians, by Thomas Williams, James Calvert.
- Voyage Round the World: Embracing the Principal Events of the Narrative of the United States... - Page 383, by Charles Wilkes - 1849
- Elites: choice, leadership and succession - Page 116, by João de Pina-Cabral, Antónia Pedroso de Lima - Social Science - 2000
- The Fijians - Page 62, 1908.
- The Golden Bough A Study in Magic and Religion: A New Abridgement from the Second and Third Editions - Page 149, by Sir James George Frazer - 1998.
- ‘Matanitu’ the struggle for power in early Fiji by David Routledge 1985 – published by the Institute of Pacific studies and the University of the South Pacific Fiji, Chapter 2 Struggle between the Chiefs 1760 to 1842 Page 40,56
- Tukutuku Raraba – History of Bau – Chapter 1 Page 1, records tabulated by the Native Lands and Fisheries Commission, the book The Pacific Way – A Memoir by Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara published by the University of Hawaii press Honolulu refers to the ‘Tukutuku Raraba’ as the ‘registrar of land owners rights and customs’
- Oceania By University of Sydney, Australian National Research Council - 1930.
- Fiji’s Heritage a history of Fiji by Kim Gravelle reprinted under its new name in 2000 it was originally published as Fiji Times a history of Fiji in 1979. ISBN 982-214-001-0, Published by Tiara enterprises Nadi.
- The Cambridge History of the Pacific Islanders, Page 189 - 190, By Malama Meleisea, Donald Denoon, Karen .L Nero, Jocylyn Linnekin, Stewart Firth
- Apologies to Thucydides: Understanding History as culture and Vice Versa, By Marshal Sahlins.