A Brief History of Fiji Island Timeline 1987

The History of Fiji Iceland

A Brief History of Fiji Iceland: The discovery of sandalwood lured the first traders to Fiji. After all the forests had been cleared, the foreigners switched to the trade in ‘bêche-de-mer’, a coral animal that was considered a delicacy in China. Europeans mingled with the local population and gave Chief Cakobau so much power that he could proclaim himself king of all Fiji.

History of Fiji
History of Fiji

History On Fiji

  • Total Area of Fiji              194,000 square kilometers (75,000 sq mi) of which around 10% is land. Fiji consists of 332 islands (of which 106 are inhabited) and 522 smaller islets
  • Capital of Fiji                    Suva is the capital of Fiji, and its largest metropolitan city.
  • Language of Fiji              English Fijian and Hindi
  • Currency of Fiji               Fijian Dollar


  • Religion in Fiji

    Religion Number of followers Percentage of
    total population
    Christianity 585,245 64.4 %
    Hinduism 253,545 27.9 %
    Islam 57,252 6.3 %
    Religiously Unaffiliated 7,270 0.8 %
    Other 5,453 0.6 %

A History of Fiji in Brief

Fiji history timeline: Fiji has a colorful history of early Labita and Melanesian settlement, the development of Pacific Islander tribes, European colonization and political unrest resulting in four military coups. In this brief history of Fiji, we look at the snapshots of history that make Fiji the islands they are today.

Early Fijian History

Fiji’s early history has been interpreted through archaeological findings and through the storytelling of the local Fijians. We know that the Lapita people resided in Fiji through Lapita pottery findings, while many Fijians know the legend of the first settler who arrived in Fiji, Lutunasobasoba.

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Lapita and Melanesian History

With evidence of Lapita pottery and other findings related to the Lapita people found around Fiji, it is estimated that the first settlement in Fiji was in 1220 BC. The Lapita are said to have originated from Southeast Asia and inhabited several other South Pacific Islands. Around 1000 to 500 BC, Melanesians started to settle in Fiji, who are said to be the closest ancestors to the present-day Fijian people.

Geography of Fiji History

The island Fiji is located on the smallest continent in the world, Oceania precisely in the waters of the South Pacific in the geographical division of that territory called Melanesia.

Where's Fiji located
Where’s Fiji located

Where’s Fiji Located

Being a group of islands, it has no land borders but it is located near some famous islands such as Tuvalu, Samoa, the Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, Australia, New Zealand, Tonga and New Caledonia.

The Groningen explorer Abel Tasman was probably the first European to observe the archipelago. In 1634 he sailed past Taveuni, in search of the Southland that later turned out to be Australia. Captain Cook visited Lau.

Fiji Under British Rule

The crushing of an uprising with Tongan help around 1855 put Fiji in a submissive position vis-à-vis Tonga, to which British intervention put an end. Yet Fiji did not become a British colony until 1874. The population was placed under indirect rule, which meant that the local ‘chiefs’ retained their power. The British led Fiji into the twentieth century in a short time, among other things by setting up large sugar cane plantations. A Brief History of Fiji.

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The Fiji Islands are 333 islands located in the southern Pacific Ocean that have beautiful beaches, coral reefs and rainforests. The majority of the population lives on the largest island, Viti Levu, where Suva, the capital, is located. After 96 years as a British colony, the Republic of the Fiji Islands gained independence in 1970.

During British rule, bred servants from India worked in the sugarcane fields: Fijians of Indian origin make up 40 percent of the population.

History of Fiji island
History of Fiji island: Hindu Temple in Fiji

Fijians of Indian origin are mostly Hindus, while native Fijians are mostly Christians. The tension between the two communities led to two coups: one in 1987 and another in 2000. Democracy was reinstated in 2001

The necessary manpower came from British India. Between 1879 and 1916, 63,000 indentured servants were recruited, more than half of whom remained on the islands after their contracts expired. Unwittingly, the British created a social separation. On the one hand the wealthy settlers, the powerful Australian businessmen and the increasing Prosperity Indians, on the other hand the Fijians who are lagging behind in their development.

History Of Fiji Independence

History of Fiji Freedom: In 1970 Fiji became independent but remained part of the British Commonwealth. After a coup d’état in 1987, Fiji became a republic and changed its name from Dominion of Fiji to Republic of Fiji, Ganiilau became its first president. In 1992, Rabuka of the FPP became prime minister after general elections. In 1994, Ganilau dies and Ratu becomes Sir Kamisese Mara president. Around the turn of the century, it is very restless in Fiji,

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That remains the case in the first decade of the 21st century. In 2009, Fiji was expelled from the Commonwealth. Bainimarama suffers from various military regimes. Australia and New Zealand are restoring diplomatic relations after Bainimarama says it will hold free elections in 2014.

History of Suva

A Brief History of Fiji Capital Suva: Suva is the capital of Fiji Island and although it is not the most populous it is the political center of the young republic. It is located in the southeast of Viti Levu in the region of the central Fiji island this city has been the capital of the group of islands since 1877 and its population has increased to around 85,000 inhabitants according to the 2007 census.

Fiji history
Fiji history

It covers an area of 2,408 square kilometers with an equatorial climate and high rainfall during the year. Economically speaking, the capital of the island Fiji did not develop as a large industrial city but was constituted as an axis where the city was established as the banking headquarters of most of the banks located in the Pacific.

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