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Kadavu Province is one of fourteen provinces of Fiji, and forms part of the Eastern Division, which also includes the provinces of Lau, Lomaiviti and Rotuma. Kadavu also belongs to the Burebasaga Confederacy, a hierarchy of chiefs from southern and western Fiji with Roko Tui Dreketi of Rewa as the paramount chief.
It consists of Kadavu Island, Ono Island, Galoa Island, Dravuni Island, Matanuku Island, Buliya Island, Nagigia Island, and a few other islands. Kadavu has a total land area of 408 square kilometers, with a population of 10,897 at the most recent census in 2017, making it the fourth least populous province.
The Kadavu group is volcanic in nature, the main island being Kadavu, which is 93 km long and varies in width from several hundred metres to 13 km, All its coasts are deeply indented, some bays biting so far into the land that they almost divide the island. One geographer has suggested that the shape of Kadavu resembles that of a wasp, with the head, thorax and abdomen linked by narrow waists.
Thus Vunisea (the administrative center), Namalata Bay and Galoa Harbor are separated by only a sandy isthmus standing a few meters above sea level; and at Vunisei the heads of Daku Bay and Soso Bay are within 1100 meters of each other, with only a low ridge between.
The province is divided into nine tikina (districts), each with its own paramount chief and chiefly villages. The tikinas are Tavuki (Tavuki), Naceva (Soso), Nabukelevu (Daviqele), Nakasaleka (Nakoronawa), Sanima (Drue), Yale (Rakiraki), Yawe (Nalotu), Ono (Vabea) and Ravitaki (Ravitaki). Each high chief is a member of the Kadavu Provincial Council. There are 75 villages in the province of Kadavu.
The Kadavu dialects are almost as numerous as the tikinas but with tiny variations between dialects. The Kadavu dialects are closer to the Rewa dialect in Ono and then closer to the Beqa, Serua and Vatulele dialect in the main island with more similarities with the Nadroga, Naitasiri and Ba dialects as one move towards the south of the island. This could all indicate the origin of the inhabitants to an extent.
Kadavu is also the home of the second-largest living organism on Earth, the Great Astrolabe Reef, which lies along the southern side of the island and stretches from the northern part of the island, Ono island, to the southern tip of Kadavu Island, Muanasika Point near Nasau village. The edges of this reef are indicated by two lighthouses: the Solo Light House near Ono Island, and the Washington Lighthouse close to Nagigia Island.
There is no town on the island but Vunisea is where all the government headquarters are, with one high school (boarding school), a primary school, police station, hospital, airstrip and at least five supermarkets. However, there are also two main other government stations apart from Vunisea: Kavala and Daviqele.