150th anniversary: The origin of Isa Lei

Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara and his wife Adi Lala in procession during his installation as Tui Nayau on the island of Nayau, northern Lau Group, Fiji. Picture: Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand.

In 1962, the late Tui Nayau, Ratu Tevita Uluilakeba, wrote a letter to The Fiji Times describing in detail the circumstances surrounding the origin of the farewell song — Isa Lei. It was in response to a claim by a Tongan noble honourable Tuivakano who told the New Zealand media the song was originally Tongan. […]

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