Malani

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Roko Malani (1754–1833) was the eldest son of Rasolo, the first Tui Nayau (Paramount Chief of Fiji's Lau Islands), and of Laufitu a high-ranking lady of Totoya and Tongan descent. He succeeded to the title Roko Sau, after engineering a successful coup d'état and slaying his uncle, Matawalu, the fourth Roko Sau, in battle. This kin slaying was the result of the latter’s dislike and plan to expel Tongan settlers from Lakeba. As Malani was half Tongan, his hand was forced to remove his uncle from power and eliminate his followers as an effective force on the island. Roko Malani was later installed as Tui Nayau, and thus become the second holder of this title.

He is described by one of the early missionaries to Lakeba as being "a good looking muscular man", and he was responsible for establishing the kingdom of the Tui Nayau in the form which it was known to the first European observers. One of his earliest campaigns resulting in the extension of his domain was to lead a battle against Cicia, then an independent island, in retribution for the earlier death of his cousin Nayacatabu. He ambushed the Tui Cicia, or overlord of Cicia, and his forces on Nayau and killed him. The ensuing bloodbath is still remembered by the place name where the battle occurred. This area on Nayau is called Sosoiwaidamudamu or the Swamp of Red Water. This battle brought Cicia from this point forward under the power of the Tui Nayau. In addition the islands of Komo and Olorua were given to...
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