Connecting identities and relationships through Indigenous epistemology: the Solomoni of Fiji

Indigenous peoples Solomon Islanders Fiji
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Oral tradition is a significant aspect of the lives of most indigenous communities. Myths, legends, dances and songs have been passed down orally throughout the generations. Such indigenous knowledge needs to be documented if any indigenous community chooses to maintain it for future generations. This study examines the traditional relationship and identity of Solomon Islanders living in Fiji by tracing its place through indigenous knowledge, Pacific epistemologies and discourses. This thesis explores the notion of tauvu (springing from the same ancestor) relationship between the Solomoni and the indigenous Fijians living in Fiji by reflecting on how it came about and how it has been maintained throughout Fiji. This research utilises ethnography and participatory action research including the use of appropriate Fiji and Solomon Islands cultural protocols to enable access for interviews and community groups. The study has not only helped to identify the important aspects of the tauvu traditional relationships but it has also clarified and described the history and depths of the relationship between the taukei (indigenous Fijians) and Solomoni. Having such a cultural knowledge has helped the taukei to be accepting and accommodating, thus enabling the Solomoni to assimilate, integrate and intermarry into the Fijian culture and custom. This study hopes to encourage people whether individual or collective in any indigenous community to connect to their history and identity which would enable them to value their stories.

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