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Published on Dec 3, 2011
Dec 1, 2011 - In the South Pacific islands of Fiji, a deceased Chieftain or person of equivalent ranking and stature, is hand buried just as their ancient ancestors did many thousands of years ago. Without modern tools, male members of the clan from the mother's side, must carry and bury the deceased according to ancient Fijian tradition using only their hands and clam shells as shovels. The coffin is first wrapped in colourful mats handmade with coconut leaves by each of the island's families, then lowered into the hand dug grave before ceremony. This video was made with the permission of the current Chief, who wanted to share this with the new generation of young Fijians and outsiders who would not normally be allowed to view these proceedings, for both education and prosperity. Unlike anywhere else in the world, the native Fijian people have adapted their ancient beliefs and traditions, into a single living culture that respects and practices its past in an increasingly modern world. (C) 2011, Lance Seeto, may not be reproduced or used without permission from the author