The Fiji Museum - Virtual Museum


Free Indians rapidly spread to all parts of Fiji, with the majority remaining on the main islands of Viti Levu and Vanua Levu. Some settled in urban areas, however, the majority acquired plots of farmland wherever available. Restrictions imposed on land acquisition by the Colonial Government meant that few Indian immigrants were able to purchase land, although they could lease land or settle where work was available.

Loose settlements grew, housing farmers and their families working in the same area. At first these settlements were very unstable, as people sought the best land and lease arrangements - people often coming together from different parts of India and different castes, religious and cultural groups. As the children of the first immigrants grew up, people related to each other tended to cluster in the same area forming more stable communities.