Ancient Fijian fishing ritual captured for the first time

Drone pilot and filmmaker Gary Yost brings us yet another video of something very special from his recent trip to Fiji – the Qoli Wawa fishing ceremony for the coronation of the new paramount chief in Nukubalavu.


This ritual fishing expedition occurs only in honor of the coronation of the new paramount chief, 100 nights after the previous one has died.  The village gets together and spends days preparing for it, and performs the ceremony a mile off shore where it’s invisible from the beach. For this reason, this amazing fishing ceremony has never been filmed from the air before, and the response to it from the Fijians has been wonderful.

Yost says of the shooting process, “Filming this 6-hour ceremony (from high to low tide) almost a mile from shore and in stiff winds (initially only 10mph but 30mph+ by the time it was concluding) had a bit of a pucker factor but the bird performed like a champ. I was very glad I brought all 7 batteries to Fiji!”

Enjoy this unique view of a beautiful Fijian tradition.