Niuafo'ou, Vava'u, Tofua, Tongatapu
Capital : Nuku'alofa
This monarchy is one of the eastern Polynesian island groups. It was first inhabited by Polynesians by at least BC 1500. The first European arrivals were the Dutch in 116 and Abel Tasman visited in 1643. The English Captain Cook gave them the name of the Friendly Islands in 1773.
At his accession in 1831, Prince Taufa'ahau Tupou became King George Topou I. He consolidated his kingdom by conquest but granted a constitution and encouraged the spread of Christianity. In 1900, Tonga became a British Protectorate but regained control over its internal affairs in the treaty revisions of 1958 and 1967.
When Queen Salote Topou died in 1965, she was succeeded by her son Tupouto'a Tungi as King Topou IV. Under his rule, the country gained full indepence within the Commonwealth in 1970. In 1990, three of the nine elected representatives of the people in the Legislative Assembly were pro-democracy candidates who tried to reduce the king's absolute power.
The languages spoken are Tongan and English and the religions are Protestant, Roman Catholic and Mormon.
After the European missionaries arrived, many people became Christians and forms of Biblical names are common as are other names adapted from European ones. Native Polynesian names, which are not usually gender specific, are also in use.
This collection of names was compiled by Kate Monk and is ©1997, Kate Monk.
Copies may be made for personal use only.
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