Chef Lance Seeto | Tavuni Hill Fort settled by Tongan chief
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31 Jan / Tavuni Hill Fort settled by Tongan chief

Cooking on the Latamai lookout

Most people may know of the Tongan history in northern islands of Vanua Levu and Lau, but did you know that a Tongan chief settled a part of Sigatoka, on the Coral Coast, around 1800AD? Following a dispute with his brother during the reign of the Tui Pelehaki family, the young Maile Latamai gathered his servants and left Tonga for Fiji to learn the ways of the fierce Fijian warriors. Stopping in Kadavu and Serua before landing at Korotogo, Latamai travelled inland to Tavuni where he eventually established a village fort overlooking the Sigatoka valley. This high point gave him a strategic advantage to see his enemies approaching. Few remnants remain of the old village, which was abandoned in 1875, but many of Latamai

By Lance Seeto in People & Places

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