THESE men had never left Fiji.
They visited Kinross Wolaroi School last week to introduce their culture to students who had never seen Fijian warriors.
Students participated in a traditional kava ceremony and organiser and ex-student Rob Quarmby said the students did not want them to leave and held them up for an hour.
The group are from Rewa on the Rewa River near Suva where the first missionaries landed and convinced the Rewans into giving up their traditions and becoming Christians.
This was 175 years ago. Mr Quarmby’s great-great-grandfather, William Cross, was the first missionary to land and was invited by the chief of Rewa the Roko Tui Drkeeti to stay and establish a mission and the first school in Fiji.
The Rewans fought off all neighbouring tribes to protect the missionaries.
Today the Rewa warriors hold the respected position of guardians of the current Roko Tui Dreketi, a female chief called Tuimimi, who would be Prime Minister of Fiji if a democratic election was held today.
The Fijian dancers will shortly graduate from their bible studies and become lay people.
Photos: JUDE KEOGH