Fiji - with a land area of 18,376 sq. km and a population of over 634,000 - is the most densely populated nation in Melanesia. The Fiji archipelago (which is divided into four political divisions) marks the eastern extent of the chain of volcanic islands extending eastward from Papua New Guinea through the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu. Unlike the islands situated in the so-called "Ring of Fire", strong earthquakes in the region are rare. The country's population is multi-racial and includes: a) indigenous Fijians (45%); b) Indians (50%); c) half-castes (2%); d) Europeans (0.5%); e) Chinese (0.5%); and other Pacific Islanders (1%). The focus of the BLAC FOUNDATION here are the customs traditions and history of the indigenous Fijians (i.e. Melanesians) which include: fire-walking, kava drinking ceremonies, traditional dances (like the meke ), tales, legends, and songs. For more about Fiji see Dr. E. Powe's The Lore of Melanesia.
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