A photograph showing a group of Fijian chiefs, sitting in two rows in front of the verandah of Government House at Suva.
Ratu Isikeli Roraqoca Davetanivalu – Turaga Buli and son of Taukei ni Waluvu Ratu Meli Davetanivalu II seated first left in second row.
The occasion is not certain.
It is most probable the chiefs - as Roko Tui’s head-provincial administrators – were invited by the Governor to celebrate either the Golden Jubilee of the Methodist Church in Fiji in 1885 or Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee on 20 June 1887. All were High Chiefs in their own right.
12 Provinces formed by Gordon
Sir Arthur Gordon Fiji’s first substantive Governor in establishing colonial rule from 1875 to 1878, had originally created 12 Provinces headed by
– Roko Tui’s and
two hill Provinces on Viti Levu;
– Colo East and
– Colo West headed by respective Governor’s Commissioners.
In 1893 another Commissionship, Colo North was created from these two Colo Provinces and from areas of Ra, Ba and the Yasawa group.
1-6 left to right, front row:
1. Ratu Kinivuai Nacagilevu Roko Tui Kadavu;
2. Ratu Kinijoji Katonivere, Rokotui Macuata;
3. Ratu Vuniani Vuki, Rokotui Ba;
4. Ratu Epeli Nailatikau, Rokotui Tailevu ;
5. Ratu Marika Toroca, Rokotui Lomaiviti;
6. Ratu Joji Vakawalitabua Rokotui Bua.
7-13 left to right, back row:
7. Buli from Colo East Ratu Isikeli Davetanivalu;
8. Ratu Peni Tanoa, Rokotui Naitasiri;
9. Buli from Colo West,Tui Noikoro Ratu Nabeka;
10. Ratu Luke Nakulanikoro, Rokotui Nadroga;
11. Ratu Tevita Rasuraki Rokotui Ra;
12. Ratu Timoci Tavanavanua, Rokotui Rewa;
13. Ro Matanitobua, Rokotui Namosi.
Rokotui Cakaudrove Province, Ratu Josefa Lalabalavu and
Rokotui Lau Province, Roko Eroni Loganimoce.
Originally Tailevu and Naitasiri counted for one Province with Ratu Epeli Nailatikau as Roko Tui.
In 1882 the Province was split in two with Ratu Peni Tanoa as Rokotui Naitasiri.
In 1877 Serua Province was carved from Rewa Province under a ‘Buli- Roko’ Ratu Kinijoji Gagabokola.
John Garrett “To Live Among the Stars”