The Last of the Mohicans



When James Fenimore Cooper penned “The last of the Mohicans” in 1826, he could have been sitting under a coconut tree on the beach across the road from the stadium here at Laucala Bay, with the Pacific Ocean gently lapping at his feet.

One thousand years before the lifetime of Jesus Christ, the peoples of the pacific were navigating this vast ocean by the stars, deep undersea currents and the mercy of God.

Voyaging from the heart of Oceania – Samoa, Tonga, Fiji and the Cook Islands, to Rapanui (Easter Island), Tahiti, Hawai’i and back to Oceania, plus journeys to New Zealand and return.

This culture of navigating by the stars and currents, sailing vast distances across the pacific between Island nations, has recently been revived by the Pacific Voyaging Society with 7 Vaka – traditional sailing canoes, sailing over 40,000Km from Oceania to North America and back over two years, ending in August 2012.

As well as a culture of blue-ocean sailing, the indigenous peoples of Samoa, Tonga, Fiji and New Zealand also share similar social structures, basic linguistics, cultural ceremonies and warrior tribes, with the settlement of Oceania and New Zealand forged by inter-island and tribal wars, fought on land and sea across the vast Pacific.

The royal rulers of Samoa, Tonga, Fiji and New Zealand all commanded battalions of warrior tribes, trained to fight from early childhood in deadly combat skills, passed down from Father to son to this day.

There are few cultural displays more realistic and spine-tingling than watching our Warriors of Oceania laying down their traditional war challenges before going into battle on the rugby field.

In this warrior culture of Oceania, the lines between war and rugby often blur, resulting in casualties of war on the rugby field. So it should come as no surprise really that only four nations on earth claim rugby union as their national sport – New Zealand, Samoa, Tonga and Fiji.

A claim that all four nations proudly make as well as being the last surviving seafaring warrior cultures in human history.

In international rugby, New Zealand is the undisputed world champions in XVs rugby while Samoa, Tonga, Fiji and New Zealand Maori have consistently punched way above their weight category by population size, beating rugby nations with far greater populations as shown below:

  • 2019 HSBC World Rugby 7s Series Winners – Fiji
  • 2018 Tests – Fiji beat France in Paris
  • 2018 Tests – Fiji beat France in Paris
  • 2016 Rio Olympic Games Rugby 7s – Fiji Gold Medal Winners
  • 2016 HSBC World Rugby 7s Series Winners – Fiji
  • 2015 HSBC World Rugby 7s Series Winners – Fiji
  • 2012 Tests – Samoa beat Wales and Tonga beat Scotland.
  • 2011 XVs Rugby World Cup – Tonga beat France
  • 2011 Test – Samoa beat Australia
  • 2010 World Rugby 7s Series Winners – Samoa
  • 2007 XVs Rugby World Cup – Fiji beat Wales
  • 2006 World Rugby 7s Series Winners – Fiji
  • 2005 Rugby World Cup 7s champions – Fiji
  • 2005 Rugby – New Zealand Maori beat the British & Irish Lions
  • 1997 Rugby World Cup 7s champions – Fiji

Inspired by Bow Sansom, last of the Mohicans.

Pacific Nations Cup, Official Programme, Fiji versus Samoa., June 2014

by Culden Kamea

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