Kalou "a spirit...a god ..."
Gata "a snake or viper, of which there is a number of kinds..." "Kalou-gata "blessed, happy; as n., happiness, and formerly a mode of worship rendered to Degei conceived as a giant snake in the cave at Nakauvadra ..."
- A New Fijian Dictionary, Compiled by A Capell M.A. (Sydney), Ph.D. (London) 1941 for the Government of Fiji, 1991.
Our rejection of the use of ‘kalougata’ is grounded not merely in the grammatical compound ‘kalou’
(meaning god) and ‘gata’ (meaning snake) as clearly un-Biblical, and therefore both unacceptable
and unwarranted, but objectionable because its literary presence in the Scripture and its extant use
in prayer and preaching constitute an unholy triad of violations of the Ten Commandments:-
- the first commandment of the Decalogue which forbids polytheism ("Thou shalt have no other gods before me" - Ex.20:3), the worship of any other god other than the God of Heaven is forbidden.
- the second commandment of the same which forbids theistic polymorphism ("Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image.." - Ex.20:4), the substitution of a snake god or his name as representative of the God of Heaven is forbidden.
- and the third of the ten commandments which forbids polyonymism ("Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.." - Ex.20:7), the incorrect use of God's holy name is forbidden.
Use of ‘kalougata’ is therefore, by our understanding, not optional, but to be utterly repudiated wherever God’s name is to
be honoured and lifted up among Christians.
Extract from Wikipedia - "Religion in Fiji"
First and foremost among the Kalou-vu was Degei, who was a god of Rakiraki but was known throughout most of the Fiji Group of islands except for the eastern islands of the Lau group. He was believed to be the origin of all tribes within Fiji and his power was superior to most, if not all, the other gods. He was often depicted as a snake, or as half snake and half stone. R.A Derrick (1957:11) says:
“In these traditions Degei figures not only as the origin of the people, but also as a huge snake, living in a cave near the summit of the mountain Uluda - the northernmost peak of the Nakauvadra Range. Earth tremors and thunder were ascribed as his uneasy turnings within the cave. He took no interest in his people’s affairs; his existence was no more than a round of eating and sleeping. By association with him, snakes were honoured as ‘the Offspring of the origin’. The snake cult was generally throughout the group.
Other gods recognized throughout the Fiji group were: Ravuyalo, Rakola, and Ratumaibulu. Rokola was the son of Degei and was the patron of carpenters and canoe-builders, while Ratumaibulu assured the success of garden crops. Ravuyalo would stand watch on the path followed by departed spirits: he would look to catch them off guard and club them. His purpose was to obstruct their journey to the afterlife (Bulu).
Abstract taken from – “Tukutuku kei Viti – O VITI MAKAWA”
..."A nodrau qase vu na Tomanaivi, sa tolu na yacana era dau cavuta na neimami qase:-
1. O Ratu-mai-Bula (koya sa bula mai Bulu). E ra sa qai dau cavuti koya tale kina, o Ratu-mai-Bula, era kaya, koya ka taukeni Bulu kei Vuravura talega.
2. Kotoinaqara. Era kaya sa nona vale o Bula, o ya na loma ivuravura. Sa katuba kei Bulu i Vuravura, na gusu ni qara levu e ruku ni ulunivanua ni Kalou o Nakauvadra.
3. Degei. Sa dua tani vei iratou na yaca oqo. Sa bale ki na ulu-ni-gata levu ka vakalomana (me luaraka mai na veika kece sa dau yacovi vuravura). O ya sa cavuti kina me iDegei se Degea, Degelaka (me tasova mai na lewe ni kato o ya). O Ratu-mai-Bula oqo, o koya ka kacabote mai Bulu, ki na Molikalagi e cake mai Nakauvadra, o ya mai na Vanua ni Yalo e ruku ivuravura e ra. Era qai cavuti koya kina nodrau kawa na Tomanaivi, me yacana o Ratu-mai-Bula (A Kalou Vure iBulu). Oqo ga neimami Kalou-vu-levu duadua na kai Viti. Sa gata ka ulu vakatamata, ni rogo mai na nona vosa i vuravura, sa mana i na ka kecega sa vosa kina; ni lutu na kuru, era kaya na Vu kei Viti; Sa vosa mai bulu o Ratu. E na dua tale na gauna, sa dau rairai mai na gusu ni qara, sa gata ka ulu vakatamata, ka yago va-gata, sa cavuti koya me Kalougata, na noqu Kalou. "
- Chapter 3; Author – Mokunitulevu Narai, written in 1907 -1925
203 VERSES USING "KALOUGATA" IN THE OLD TRANSLATION