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Fiji was settled first by the Lapita culture, around 1,500–1,000 years BCE, followed by a large influx of people with predominantly Melanesian genetics about the time of the beginning of the Common Era.
The first Europeans to sight the Fiji islands were Dutch explorer Abel Janzsoon Tasman, who passed the northeast fringe of the group in 1643, and Capt. James Cook, who passed the southeastern islands in 1774. Capt.
It was originally called Viti by its original inhabitants and after discovery of the archipelago by European explorers it was named Fiji. Surprisingly this name is of Tongan origin. Fiji History The Lapita people first settled the Fiji islands about 1500 BC. It is suggested that they came from Vanuatu or the Eastern Solomon islands.
The first Europeans to settle in the islands began to arrive in the early 19th century. They were often shipwrecked sailors or escaped convicts from Australia. In the mid 19th century the missionaries began to arrive and the face of Fiji would change forever.
A History of Fiji in Brief Fiji has a colourful history of early Labita and Melanesian settlement, the development of Pacific Islander tribes, European colonisation and political unrest resulting in four military coups. In this brief history of Fiji, we look at the snapshots of history that make Fiji the islands they are today.