Cannibal Souvenirs

The origin of some things is almost unfathomable, and you’ll have this experience in Fiji… Travel journalist, Ian Cross, takes to the road for a series of short reports on people, places and events across the globe – The Grassroots Tour.

A wide range of objects derived from ancient weaponry, and carved from Fijian hardwood are on show in the many handicraft shops here. Each weapon has a specific purpose, such as the spade-like objects which are belly openers; serrated edged objects are neck breakers and skull crackers. And once a battle is all over, there are even forks designed so cannibals might pick out the brains of their enemies.

If you’re in doubt about the authenticity, pay a visit to the Fiji museum where the real weapons from a bygone age are displayed. It’s not all blood and gore souvenirs in Fiji, though. Intricately carved kava bowls, used to contain the national alcoholic drink made from the lava root, are beautifully made; as is Tapa, or Masi, tribal patterns painted on paper which has been processed from the bark of mulberry bush. Masi are used for a variety of purposes during Fijian rituals and celebrations.


Presenter/voice/producer: Ian Cross

Photography: Robin Constable