Fiji: Viseisei Village

Viseisei is a small village near the main road between the cities of Nadi and Lautoka, on the Western side of Fiji’s main island, Viti Levu. It is thought to be the oldest settlement in Fiji as Melanesian explorers landed in the area in the 16th century. Three centuries later, the first Methodist missionaries landed in this region.


The village showcases some well-preserved bures (Fijian traditional houses), including a ceremonial bure that is still used to celebrate important events, such as the visit of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles.


In Viseisei, it is possible to observe the art of weaving Fijian traditional mats. Their production is still very common in Fijian villages; they are traditionally given as wedding presents. Fijian mats are hand-weaved by women from pandanus leaves. These are boiled, dried, smoothed and cut into stripes before they can be weaved. It is a long process that requires the work of at least two women for several hours.