Sample Fiji - History (Grades 5-7) Worksheet
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Fiji - History
By Ekaterina Zhdanova-Redman
  

1     Fiji is a group of islands in Oceania--the region formed by the islands spread through the Pacific Ocean, mostly in its southwestern part. People of very different origins live there--Melanesian, Polynesian, Micronesian, Indian, Chinese, and European. The first settlers settled in Fiji around 1500 BC, mostly from other parts of Oceania. Initially, they were coastal fishing people, but the development of agriculture around 500 BC increased the population and helped to form tribal communities.
 
2     The first European to set foot on the Fiji islands was the Dutch explorer Abel Tasman in 1643. The British explorer Captain James Cook visited Fiji in 1774. Soon after that, traders came to the islands seeking sandalwood and trepang--the sea cucumber highly prized in Asia.
 
3     Along with great commercial interests discovered on the islands, Europeans found out that local people practiced cannibalism--the eating of human flesh by other human beings. Some of the traders and travelers never returned to their home countries, including the Englishman Reverend Thomas Baker, whose shoe--all that has remained--is exhibited in the Fiji Museum.

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