Near the summit of Uluda, the northern peak of the Nakauvadra Mountains, is a cave. It is no ordinary cave, for it is said that Degei, the most important god in Fijian folklore, resides here. To the early Fijians, Degei was the creator of the world, creator of men and god of anger and war. He took the form of a snake and, when he moved, the earth shook. Noise irritated him so the bats were chased away from the cave, birds were ordered to sleep away from the summit and the waves crashing onto the nearby reef were silenced. Throughout Fiji, and particularly on Viti Levu, the snake god ruled supreme and was offered the first bowl of yaqona as a matter of respect. In the hills of Viti Levu you may still see the first bowl of grog poured outside in his honour.

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