Home to almost two hundred traditionally thatched bures, the village of NAVALA is an iconic symbol of Fiji. Back in 1950, the community decided to reject modern building materials and to encourage all school leavers to learn the art of traditional bure making. The result, sixty years on, is the last remaining thatch village in Fiji. The only cement structures are the church, school and a few generator huts.
To visit the village, introduce yourself to the first person you come across on the roadside – they will take you to the village headman where you pay a F$25 village entry fee. The money represents a sevusevu and helps with the upkeep of the village. Strolling around is a delightful experience. The chiefly bures have elaborately designed rooftops and are set in a neat line facing the village green. The more disorganized clusters of bures on the lower slopes of the Ba River are where the ordinary people live. The village is surrounded by grass-covered mountains full of secret caves where the people once retreated in times of war.