Viti Levu Feature
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One of the last persons to be eaten in Fiji, as the many tribes bowed to pressure from Christianity, was the British missionary Reverend Thomas Baker in 1867. Some say the chief borrowed a comb from the missionary while others say it was a hat. The missionary tried to remove the object and touched the chief's head, which is forbidden. Baker and eight Fijian followers were promptly clubbed to death and eaten. The cooked but uneaten sole of the missionary's shoe appears in the in Suva.
In 2003 descendants of the chief invited descendants of Thomas Baker to their remote village of Nabutautau on Viti Levu to take part in a complex ceremony designed to lift a curse locals felt had been placed on the impoverished village when they ate the missionary. Among the 600 attendees were the Fijian prime minister, the chief's great-grandson, and 11 of the missionary's descendants, including Baker's great-great-grandson. Offerings reportedly included a cow, specially woven mats, and 30 sacred carved sperm-whale teeth or tabua.
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