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The Indigeneity of Archaeological Research in Fiji: Issues and Opportunities

A literature review showed that there are substantial materials written on Fiji with regards to the search to identify the origin of Fijians. Archaeologists, in particular, began their work in the early 1900s (see Chapter 5). They use cultural material, either from the earth surface or excavated from below, as evidence to reconstruct ancient societies. They also use materials written by early explorers to attempt to map out the pre-contact period. Parry (1981), used air photography to assess landscapes in his work in the Navua delta. Through this form of assessment, he was able to identify hill-forts, ring-ditches and old village settlements. He was also able to utilise oral history, collected from local residents, to identify stories of war, which were then substantiated by archaeological sites and place names (Parry, 1981:30). This thesis aims to build further on the work of Parry (1981) in terms of his work with both archaeology and oral history. The aim is to discuss this relationship between the two research methods and identify factors that can clearly state what indigenous Fijians know and believe as their place of origin. Nabobo-Baba (2006) has highlighted the importance of an indigenous perspective approach to research. This is an area that I have personally experienced in my work in the field of archaeology at the Fiji Museum. This collaboration included the proactive involvement and recognition of local staff in the research, in most cases through co-authorship, and in other cases they were acknowledged in academic reports and relevant writings. I believe that traditional knowledge should be just as highly regarded as western and scientific knowledge.
Type of thesis
Vunidilo, T. S. (2010). The Indigeneity of Archaeological Research in Fiji: Issues and Opportunities (Thesis, Master of Arts (MA)). University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/4972
University of Waikato
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