Missionaries and Textualization: An Evaluation of Biblical Themes in Early Fijian History

Arielle Berrick, SIT Study Abroad

Fiji: Multiculturalism and Social Change


My research on the shift from oral to written language in Fiji and its influence on Biblical origin narratives revolves around the central themes of orality, textualization, and missionization in the Pacific. Broadly, my project will examine the introduction of written language to indigenous Fijians by Wesleyan missionaries in the nineteenth century and the history of text in Fiji as an imperial technology. Specifically, I am attempting to trace early missionary speculation on the Biblical lineage of Fijian people to shed light on the exchange between missionaries and Fijians.