The Tuka Movement (Fiji)

Doctrines The Tuka movement is one of a number of millenarian movements that emerged in Oceania in reaction to the presence of Europeans in the region. The movement claimed that a Great Revival of ancient relgious practices would occur whose outcome would produce a role reversal in which whites would serve blacks.

History The Tuka movement came into existence towards the end of the 19th century through the inspiration of a traditional Fijian priest, Ndugomoi. Fearing the influence of Christian missionaries in Fiji, Ndugomoi renamed himself Navosavakandua ("He who speaks once") and proclaimed himself the supreme judge of all things who has power over life and death. He incurred the hostility of the European authorities by proclaiming the imminent return of the indigenous peoples and ancestors and the concomitant demise of the white settlers. This state of affairs was represented by the fattening of a white pig ( a symbol of the European) for the purpose of slaughter when the ancestors returned. In response to such provocation, the European authorities arrested Navosavakandua in 1885, sentenced him to six months hard labour and exile. In spite of the arrest of its leader, the movement continued to spread before entering into decline.

Symbols There are a number of striking visual aspects associated with the Tuka movement. Members performed rituals which involved both traditional ceremonies, prayer, the distribution of merchandise and something resembling military parades. The movement's leader also bottles of sanctified water, which offered eternal life.

Adherents It is impossible to say with accuracy how large the movement was. At its height it exercised considerable influence over the indigenous peoples of the interior of Fiji.

Main Centre
 Ndugumoi originated from the hill country of Viti Levu.