Bati (Fiji)

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Bati (pronounced [mˈbatʃi]) are the traditional warriors of the Fiji Islands the word itself loosely translated means soldier, bodyguard in Fijian.[1] it is derived from the word meaning teeth or edge and In old Fiji two types of subjection were recognized called Qali and Bati,[2][3] The Qali was a province or town subject to a Chief town and Bati denotes those which are not directly subject but less respected than the Qali,[2][3] the Bati bordered an area subject to the Chief and provided him with a service,[3] and from here derives the terms Mataqali and Bati.

Bati is now understood in Fijian Culture as the term for the island's traditional warrior class or caste.[4][5] The Bati are traditionally among the strongest Fijians.[citation needed]

Each Fijian village has an intricate traditional infrastructure and a Chieftain will have a Bati Clan traditionally aligned with him.

Warrior Caste[edit]

There were several class of warrior or Bati, for example you could have Bati Balavu, these warriors would be the outer guard and would guard the chief from a great distance, then you would have Bati Leka these were the inner guard and bodyguards of the Chief, there was also Bati Kadi [6] which were mercenaries for hire.[6]


  1. ^ "Fijian - English Dictionary". Archived from the original on October 27, 2009. Retrieved 2007-02-05. 
  2. ^ a b Fiji and the Fijians P16
  3. ^ a b c Neither Cargo Nor CultP26,27
  4. ^ Fiji Handbook of the Colony, P18
  5. ^ From Election to Coup in Fiji,P204 a translation of the word Bati
  6. ^ a b Tales from Old Fiji, By Lorimer Fison, Published 1907, P 20, 21


  • Fiji Handbook of the Colony: Special Wartime Issue, By Leonard G Usher, Published 1943, Original from the University of Michigan, Digitized 23 Nov 2005.
  • From Election to Coup in Fiji: The 2006 Campaign and Its Aftermath, By Jonathan Fraenkel, Stewart Firth
  • Fiji and the Fijians, By Thomas Williams, James Calvert
  • Neither Cargo Nor Cult: Ritual Politics and the Colonial Imagination in Fiji, by Martha Kaplan
  • Tales from Old Fiji, By Lorimer Fison, Published 1907 A. Moring ltd., the Dela More press, Folklore, Original from the University of Michigan, Digitized 13 Dec 2006