Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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Aplogy for eating missionary

Fiji islanders wept as they apologized to descendants of a British missionary killed and eaten by their ancestors more than 130 years ago.

"The inhabitants of the tiny settlement of Nubutautau and the descendants of the Reverend Thomas Baker were taking part in a complex reconciliation ritual, which the villagers hope will lift a curse they blame for an extended run of bad luck."

Cannibals killed Baker in 1867 and ate him after a perceived slight against the then village chief, even boiling his leather boots with the local vegetable, bele, in an act which villagers say resulted in the curse.


"The tears were from our hearts deep inside because we have waited for so long for this moment," village spokesman Tomasi Baravilala told Reuters. "That’s our belief, we are Christians and today we will be set free from the curse."

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