Warrior - Fiji, circa 1890 Photographer:
G.W. Waters Ref:
The Fiji Islands of the early to mid 19th century were a savage place with a fierce power struggle between warring island tribes culminating with Ratu Seru Cakobau, the most powerful and ruthless of the Fijian chiefs, being proclaimed King of the Islands in 1871. By the time the photographer G. W. Waters opened his photography studio in Suva, the capital city of the islands, in the 1880s, the political climate had stabilized somewhat and this enabled Waters to focus on capturing, through portraits, the ferocity and intensity of the native peoples. We only need to peer into the eyes of the warrior in this photograph, outfitted with a necklace of wild boar tusks and porting his club, to understand that Waters was successful in his pursuit.