Tonga was populated from Melanesia in the latter half of the 1000s BC by people who made so-called lapita ceramics (see lapita culture). About 1000 AD large stone-edged grave structures, so-called langi and faitoka, began to be erected. These are linked to the emergence of the powerful chiefdom that was described by European explorers in the 18th century. In Hahake on Tongatapu there is a megalithic trilite, Ha’amonga-a-Maui, the only one of its kind in the Pacific region.

  • Countryaah: Check to see the location of Tonga on the world map. Also covers major mountains, rivers and lakes in Tonga.


Tonga was visited by Dutch in the early 17th century, and in 1773 James Cook named the archipelago the name Friendly Islands (‘Friendship Islands’). In 1826, the Methodists established a mission in Tonga and converted, among other things, the traditional leader Taufa’ahau, who then became king under the name of George Tupou I. In separate agreements, Germany (1876), Britain (1879) and the United States (1888) guaranteed independence for Tonga., who nevertheless became the British protectorate in 1900. Tonga gained independence in the Commonwealth in 1970. For a long time the king and a number of noble families held power, but in 2010 democratic reforms were implemented and the country’s first democratic elections. See also State Condition and Politics. To see more information other than history, please visit Abbreviationfinder to learn more about climate, population, government, and economy for the country of Tonga.

History of Tonga

Food imports have increased as a result of growing tourism industry. Environmental problems have arisen; The coral reefs are beginning to be over-exploited, and forests are being harvested to make room for agriculture and new housing. See also State Condition and Politics above.

History of Tonga
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