1870: Levuka mix:people from Rotuma, Samoa, and Tahiti, Tanna, New Hebrides, Banks Groups, Solomon

A. B. Brewster (1937:101), a long-term resident of Fiji, describes Levuka of the 1870s and 1880s when he first arrived in Fiji: Straight-haired olive-skinned people from Rotuma, Samoa, and Tahiti passed to and fro jostling their wooly-haired black neighbours from  Tanna, the New Hebrides and Banks Groups and from the faraway Solomon Islands. There they met and conversed in the beche-de-mer or pidgin  English which with Fijian forms the lingua franca of the Great South Sea. We had a local song in those days in the dialect used by our labourers from the scattered islands of the Western Pacific.
 Plentee man he come from Tanna and some from Tokelau
De darkies all do go, de field where de cotton grow.Weed a bit, pick a bit, make plenty savvy,Allee same, by and by, just so.

Pacific Studies, Vol. 9, No. 3 July 1986 


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