Nasaqalau

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Nasaqalau is one of eight villages on the island of Lakeba, in Fiji's Lau archipelago.

The original inhabitants of Lakeba Island are those that reside in Nasaqalau. Later inhabitants to the village came from Waimaro of the Dreketi clan through Matuku and on to Nasaqalau. Those with the "Tupua" surname were among the later inhabitants to Nasaqalau.

Shark calling for yearly feast (saukakana)[edit]

One clan in Nasaqalau, whose ancestors came from the village of Wainikeli on the island of Taveuni, is famous for its ability to call sharks from the sea. An annual ceremony, led by a bete (Fijian traditional priest) is performed every October or November. For several days, offerings of kava are made. On the actual day, a caller wades neck-high in the water and chants. Within 30 minutes, a white shark would appear, leading a school of about fifty other sharks. It would encircle the caller who then leads them out to shallow waters to be slaughtered with nothing else but coconut branches. The white shark is not slaughtered and is allowed to go free.[citation needed]

The last call[edit]

The last shark call was done in 1948 by Adi Mere Fifita Latu Tuilakeba of the Dreketi clan which was witnessed by a lot of the villagers including Luisa Lavenia Segawekana (Luisa Tupua) who also witnessed the earlier rituals.(14 May 1938– 17 June 2010). Luisa Tupua recalled Adi Mere Latu's instruction that the shark calling ritual must not be practised again because it has now become obsolete, with some reverting to paganism through the worship of the Shark God. Luisa Tupua was the daughter of Taraivosa, the younger sister of Adi Mere Latu.[citation needed]

The caves[edit]

Nasaqalau is also known for several caves in the vicinity of the village. Oso Nabukete, also known as the Pregnant Women's Cave, is the most famous of these. According to legend, a woman attempting to hide her pregnancy will not be able to pass through the mouth of the cave. It is adjoined by Qara Bulu which was once used as a dungeon for prisoners in times of tribal war. A third cave, Koro ni Vono, was once used as a place of confinement for tuberculosis patients who were left there to die.
[citation needed]

Address protocol and title[edit]

Leadership title of the headman is "Tui Natokalau"

Correct protocol address
Naseuvou vua na Tui Natokalau

The political takeover[edit]

The traditional authority of the Nasaqalau people has been weakened through the political takeover via weakening the political significance of the Tui Nasaqalau. This move was orchestrated by the then Tui Nayau Ratu Tevita Uluinayau with the aid of the colonial government by replacing it with the title equivalent to a vagabond. This move was done in order to control resources and the will of the people.[citation needed]

Current and incorrect protocol address
Naseuvou vua na Ramasi
Current and incorrect title of the headman
"Ramasi"