Traditional Kava-Kava

Hi there!

We bet that you heard about Kava and probably you have tried it; but do you know how important is for people of Fiji? We found this article of a traveller who had the luck to experience this ceremonial drink with fijians. Here is his story:

Kava is NOT a Psychedelic Drug

People tend to confuse kava with Ayuhuasca, the hallucinogenic ceremonial drink from the Amazon. Kava on the other hand, is not intended to give you visions or to put you into a trance. It’s effects are mild: one or two cups will make your face numb, a large amount will make you feel relaxed and sleepy. Drink too much and you might fall asleep, but that is the limits of it’s power.

The majority of Fiji islanders drink kava on a daily basis with no ill effects. It might help to account though, for the slow and relaxed pace of the islands and the popular concept of “fiji time.


Drinking Kava Can Be Ceremonial

In Fiji Kava is used as a symbol to bring two groups of people together. When visiting a new village it is essential to bring a gift of kava. The community then gathers and the kava is mixed. There are a lot of words, all in fijian and some clapping . The chiefs partake first (the oldest male in your group can be your makeshift chief) and it is then offered all around in a communal bowl.

My inner anthropologist was buzzing when I was lucky to attend not one, but two kava ceremonies on our trip. When participating in the ceremony it is essential to dress conservatively and sit respectfully. If you are offered the kava it is important to drink the entire cup in one go. Don’t sip it (it’s better to just down it anyways, once you taste it) . Clap once before receiving the cup, drink up and then clap three more times.

Once the ceremony is complete then everyone in the room is now friends and you can get on with the eating and the dancing.


For me, the ceremony and community surrounding kava is far more powerful than the drink itself. Although it might give germaphobes some pause, I loved the communal and warm aspect of kava culture and the openess and acceptance that goes along with sharing the drink. Even in the quickly modernizing world of Fiji, where you’re more likely to see people hanging out in t-shirts and jeans than traditional garb, this drink holds a powerful and uniting place in society.”

You can have access to this ancient drink at Colorado Herbal Imports! Kava Powder for a quick drink or Kava Root to celebrate this ancestral ritual with family and friends.