Dawasamu chief Ratu Peni Waqa (above and right) drinks a bowl of yaqona after his installation as Turaga na Ratu of Dawasamu
THE tikina of Dawasamu in Tailevu officially installed Ratu Peni Waqa Veilave, 73, as their chief after 28 years of confusion and uncertainty.
On Thursday, more than 300 people from the eight yavusa under the title of the Turaga na Ratu gathered at the village of Delakado to witness this historic occasion.
The eldest in the king-maker clan of Voni, Nacanieli Lagilagi, told the Fiji Times the vanua of Dawasamu had been under a curse in the last 100 years because of a dispute over who should be in charge of the official installation of chiefs.
Speaking in Fijian, Mr Lagilagi said they knew what was going on because so many relatives of the title holder had died because of the king-maker's wrongdoing.
Ratu Peni is only the second chief to be traditionally installed by the yavusa Voni who are the rightful king-makers.
Mr Lagilagi said the past four chiefly title holders were installed by another group from the same yavusa and the result was death to the title holders and his family members.
He said Ratu Peni's father, Ratu Seva Veilave, had seen the worst of it in the 1970s when his brother died prematurely along with a sister-in-law and his 18-year-old son.
Mr Lagilagi said only a few weeks ago, Ratu Peni was admitted at the CWM Hospital but the cause of the sickness could not be determined.
He said it was only after the last meeting to confirm the installation ceremony was held, did he become well again.
The newly-installed Turaga na Ratu will spend four nights with all of the eight chiefs of the yavusa before he is taken back to his residence in Driti to assume his chiefly seat.
Assistant Roko Tui Tailevu Veresi Sakunitoga was also present at the installation.