Ono Island (Fiji)

This article is about Ono Island in Fiji. For Ono Island in Alabama, see Ono Island (Alabama).

Ono Island is a member of the Kadavu Group, an outlier to Kadavu Island, to the south of Viti Levu, one of Fiji's two main islands. It is separated from Kadavu Island by the Ono Channel. Located at 18.88° South and 178.50° East, this volcanic island is enclosed by the Great Astrolabe Reef. It covers an area of 30 square kilometers. Its maximum altitude is 354 meters.

There are seven villages: Vabea (south), Waisomo (south), Narikoso (southeast), Naqara (northeast), Nabouwalu (northwest), Buliya, Dravuni.

Ono Island History

A massacre occurred on September 8, 1836 on the US Brigg Charles Daggett visiting Vebea under the command of Captain Batchelor (sic. Bachelor), Chief officer Charles Shipman, to collect Sea Slugs (Beach le Mar). The chief Ro Vendovi[1] was part of the group of natives who took part. The names of those killed were Charles Shipman, 1st Officer, Benjamin Barton, trading master, John Clark, seaman, William Wall, seaman, John Evans, seaman, Eggbert Smith, seaman; a black, name unknown; a boy, name un-known, and two Tahiti men, and five persons wounded – total 10 killed and 5 wounded, out of the crew of 25 persons. As the result of the death of the first officer, Charles Shipman, a full court of inquiry into this event was held. The US Navy included orders to return anyone involved in the event to the United States for questioning. The result was that when the U.S. Exploring Expedition visited Rewa in 1841, Ro Vendovi was captured and taken to the United States to be questioned in the affair.[2] Vendovi survived the trip around the world from Fiji to the Brooklyn, New York Navy Hospital, where he died a few hours after arriving.[2] The samples, plants, and art work collected during the Expedition became the start of the Smithsonian Institution. Vendovi's personal effects, skull, and mandible (ascension #242) are part of the Anthropology Department collection.[3]

  1. "Vunivalu of Rewa".
  2. 1 2 Wilkes, Charles (1845). Narrative of The U.S. Exploring Expedition Book III, Fiji. Lea and Blanchard. pp. 103–105.
  3. Smithsonian Institution Natural History Museum Anthropology collection, Washington, D.C.


Ono is known for its ancient method of fermenting breadfruit, plantains, and dalo underground. The food is stored in a hole in the ground for, sometimes for several years, in preparation for future emergencies. Primary industry dominates the economy; a reforestation program, replanting the island with pine seedlings, is in progress.

Coordinates: 18°54′S 178°29′E / 18.900°S 178.483°E / -18.900; 178.483

  1. "The New York Herald, Vol. VII - No 175 - Whole No. 3026, Sunday Morning, JUne 26, 1842, Page 2, Column 3".
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