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> > > Tonga: Tonga Map

Tonga — The Friendly Islands

INTERESTING FACTS:  Named the "friendly" people of Polynesia by Captain James Cook, who was impressed by the warmth and kindliness of the islanders.

 

 

LOCATION:  2,250 km north-northeast of New Zealand, about two-thirds of the way between Hawai'i and New Zealand.

AREA:  718 sq km, or about four times the size of Washington, D.C.

POPULATION:  102,321 (July 2000 est.)

DISCOVERED: The Tongans have been established on their islands since about 1140 B.C. Anthropologists believe they came Fiji.

GOVERNMENT:  "The Friendly Islands" were united into a Polynesian kingdom in 1845, then became a constitutional monarchy in 1875. In 1900, Tonga became a British protectorate until it acquired its independence in 1970. It remains a member of the Commonwealth of Nations and is the only remaining island kingdom in the Pacific. A member of the Tupou dynasty has ruled since 950 A.D.

LANGUAGES:  Tongan, English

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