Fijian Bure: A Modern Interpretation – LivingMini®

Traditional_Fiji_BureA “bure” is a Fijian dwelling made of wood and straw. Traditionally, a bure functioned as a community center, where Fijian men (those that were circumcised) gathered to eat and sleep and “talk story” (as we say in Hawaii).

Today a bure can also mean a bungalow or hut for people (tourists) to rent when visiting the islands. It basically refers to any stand-alone structure and is now modernized with electricity, plumbing, etc.

And it can be built out of any material. The one I visited was made out of concrete cinder blocks. Not so very picturesque, but the villagers explained that it served as an evacuation center for storms.

OK, so cinder blocks. But couldn’t they have at least covered the roof with some palm leaves to soften the edges for my gringo eyes? Perhaps that’s impractical.

Nevertheless, both modern and more traditional bures dotted the Fijian countryside as we rolled along the one main road encircling Fiji’s main island of Viti Levu. As we drove by, I could see the men and women inside eating and sleeping and hanging out.

So bures still serve as community houses for neighbors to gather. It’s good to see that some traditions never die.


This entry was posted on Wednesday, January 19th, 2011 and is filed under Home.

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