Namalata is a village and its own island but is part of the Island Group of Vanua Balavu in Fiji's Lau archipelago. Namalata is part of Lomaloma Tikina.
The people of Namalata were the original inhabitants of Mago Island, which is now owned by the actor and film director Mel Gibson.
The Chief of Namalata Village is the Tui Mago.
From Mago to Namalata
In the mid-19th century, Fiji's two dominant chiefs at the time, the Vunivalu of Bau (Seru Epenisa Cakobau) and the Tui Cakau were threatened by the Tongan warlord, Enele Ma'afu. They sought the help of the Namalata people while Ma'afu was in Lomaloma, on Vanua Balavu, as they could provide information on his movements.
The island of Mago was then given to Europeans in order to slow Ma'afu's advancement into Fiji, as the threat of retaliation from their respective homelands deterred him from attacking Europeans. When Fiji was ceded to the United Kingdom in 1874, those occupying the island were registered as the rightful owners, thus dispossessing the Namalata people. Effectively, they lost their land while providing a service to their people.
- Derrick, Ronald Albert; The Fiji Islands, a Geographical Handbook, published 1957 Govt. Press, Original from the University of Michigan, Digitized July 1, 2006. Contains basic details on Namalata.