Kaunitoni

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Kaunitoni, according to Fijian ancestral story of our forefathers, was a canoe which sailed from an ancient homeland in the West, carrying the ancestor gods Lutunasobasoba and Degei, who are variously considered the ancestral founders of the Fijian race.

They travelled in the Kaukifera or Kaunitoni the canoe landed in the western reef of Viti Levu, just north of the village of Viseisei, between Nadi and Lautoka. Here the crew split, with one faction making a home on the island with Lutunasobasoba as a chief. The Kaunitoni then sailed eastwards along the coast of Viti Levu under the leadership of Degei, landing at Rakiraki and going up to the Nakauvadra Mountains.

This particular story has come under much criticism and scrutiny from anthropologists and linguists who suggest that the story is in fact of “missionary parentage” owing to one telling of the story which tells that Degei and Lutunasobasoba were from Lake Tanganyika. The accepted theory is that Fiji’s first inhabitants were Proto-Polynesians of the Lapita culture, whose ancestors were from South East Asia.

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