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Last Updated: Tuesday, 14 October, 2003, 11:28 GMT 12:28 UK
Fijians say sorry to eaten Briton's family
The family of an English missionary who was eaten by Fijian tribes people 136 years ago are to receive an apology.

According to local media, the remote village of Navatusila of Navosa on the Fijian island of Viti Levu has invited the descendants of the late Reverend Thomas Baker to visit next month.

Reverend Baker, from the London Missionary Society, was killed and cooked by the people of Navatusila on 21 July, 1867, after he took a comb out of a chief's hair.

It is forbidden to touch the head of a chief in Fiji.

One villager who took part in the feast was quoted in contemporary accounts as saying "we ate everything but his boots".

One of his boots is reportedly on display in the Fiji Museum.

Fiji's Prime Minister, Laisenia Qarase, is expected to attend the traditional apology.

The Fiji Village website reported that the inhabitants of Navatusila believed they were suffering from a curse because of the actions of their forefathers.

Reverend Baker is one of the few recorded examples of a Westerner falling victim to Fiji cannibals.

Cannibalism died out in Fiji in the mid-19th Century with the end of warring and the acceptance of Christianity.

Country profile: Fiji
24 May 03  |  Country profiles
Timeline: Fiji
10 Mar 03  |  Country profiles

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