Tuvalu, the former Ellice Islands, is located in the middle of the Pacific
Ocean, halfway between Australia and Hawaii. It is about 1,100 km north of
the Fiji Islands.
The archipelago belongs to Polynesia, which also includes the Cook
Islands, Easter Island, French
Polynesia, Niue, Pitcairn, Samoa, Tokelau, Tonga, Wallis and Futuna.
Tuvalu consists of nine island atolls and about 100 widely scattered smaller
islands. Tuvalu means "8 islands" in German, as only eight of the nine islands
used to be inhabited. The ninth island was not settled by humans until 1949.
Tuvalu is one of the countries that have expanded their budget with the sale of
Internet addresses, with the top-level domain ".tv" originating in Tuvalu.
Due to rising sea levels due to global warming, Tuvalu is in danger of sinking
into the sea in the next few decades.
|Name of the country
|Form of government
||Parliamentary-democratic monarchy in the Commonweal
||In the Pacific Ocean, between Australia and Hawaii; from 176 ° - 180
° east longitude and from 6 ° - 11 ° south latitude
||Tuvalu mo te Atua
||approx. 9,900 (Credit:
||Tuvaluans (Polynesians) 91.2%; mixed (Polynesians/Micronesians/
other) 7.2%; Europeans 1% and others 0.6%
||Church of Tuvalu (Congregationalists) 97%, Seventh-day Adventists
1.4%, Baha'i 1% and others 0.6%
||Tuvaluan and English
||Funafuti, with about 5,000 residents
||26 km², spread over nine atolls
||The highest point is about 5 m high.
|International license plate
||Australian dollar (AUD) and Tuvalu dollar
|Time difference to CET
||+ 11 h
|International phone code
|Internet TLD (Top Level Domain)
Funafuti and Vaitupu
Legend has it that the people of Funafuti came from Samoa by canoe. The
forefather, Telematua, came to the island with his two wives Futi ("banana") and
Tupu ("holy, in abundance").
Abbreviationfinder website, the island was named after the woman Futi, Funa is a feminine prefix. After the
island of Funafala was settled, Fongafale followed.
Telematua later left his wife Futi on Funafuti in search of more fertile land
and fresh water. He discovered Vaitupu, where he left his second wife
Tupu. Since then he has alternately spent his time on one of the two islands.
Nukufetau and Nukufetau
According to legend, the first settlers on the island of Nukufetau came from
Tonga. It is said that when they went ashore, they saw a Fetau tree. So they
called the island of Nukufetau, island of the feta tree.
A short time later they sailed back to Tonga to fetch coconuts and plant them on
the sandbank of the newly discovered land. After returning from this trip, they
settled in Flae, the western part of the island.
In the course of time the population grew and personalities of extraordinary
character developed who were recognized as chiefs.
To defend the islands against pirates, the chiefs divided the tribe into three
groups. The chief Fialua became ruler of Lafaga in the east. Tauasa became chief
of Motulao in the north. Lagitupu and Laupapa stayed in Fale. Later, after the
missionaries arrived, the entire population gathered in Fale before moving to
Savave, a small island on the lagoon side of Fale.
The man who married a dolphin
The most common dolphin in Tuvalu is the Bottlenose Dolphin. He plays an
important role in a legend of Niutao Island.
This is the story of a young man who marries a dolphin. The man owned a coconut
plantation. One morning he discovered that some of the coconut trees had been
pruned. A few weeks later the same thing happened again. The man then tried to
find the culprit, but he did not succeed.
A few weeks later the same thing happened again. But this time the man noticed
that it was a full moon. At the next full moon he hid in his plantation. As he
waited, he saw the moon rise from the horizon and heard the voices of young
women and men. They marched towards the plantation and began to prune the young
leaves of the coconut trees (these leaves are used to braid dance skirts).
The man started and yelled at her. These fled towards the sea. The man chased
her and snatched a young woman. The others jumped into the sea and turned into
dolphins as they submerged in the waves.
The man took the woman to his village and married her. The couple had two
sons. One day when the woman was very sick, she asked her husband to visit her
family at sea. She said goodbye to her children and headed for the
waves. Suddenly she turned into a dolphin and swam towards the school of
dolphins that was waiting for her in the sea.
The two sons grew up to be strong, intelligent men and became the best fishermen
on the island because their mother had taught them how to catch fish.
The islands were colonized by Polynesians in AD 300-500.
The Europeans are coming
The first European who verifiably saw the islands near Nui was the Spanish
navigator Alvaro de Mendana de Neira (1541-1595). The islands became a British
protectorate along with Kiribati in 1892. At the time, they were called Ellice
Islands and Gilbert Islands. These became a British colony in 1916.
After a referendum, the islands separated from Kiribati on January 1, 1975.
On October 1, 1978, the archipelago received its independence under the name
Tuvalu. In 2000 Tuvalu became a member of the United Nations.
From 1860 Samoi priests from the Royal Mission Society London came to
Tuvalu. They Christianized the islands within a few years.
History of science
Charles Darwin (1809-1882) visited the Pacific in 1835-1836. At that time it
was discussed how the coral atolls were formed.
In 1886 the Royal Society of London sent an expedition to the islands of
Funafuti in Tuvalu, which carried out a bore to a depth of 33 m. This was
followed by further drilling from other expeditions that reached a depth of up
to 350 m. Numerous legends surround these drill holes to this day. They can
still be viewed today at David's Drill site.
In 1999 Tuvalu was the third poorest country in the world with a population
of 11,000. The island became wealthy overnight through the sale of the top-level
domain ".tv". But with wealth came the fear of ruin. Tuvalu, which is only a few
meters above sea level on average, is one of the first states that would sink
into the sea if the sea level rose. Some scientists suspect that this scenario
will occur in 15 to 20 years. The harbingers of such a flood are already
noticeable through puddles and small ponds that are gradually forming.
But Tuvalu is still investing in the future, with night clubs, restaurants and
streets built. Of the $ 40 million the state received for the tv address, $ 10
million was spent on a 19 km road. The first thing the islanders did was buy
cars. But they soon realized the running costs of the cars, which were then
simply parked on the roadside.
The island paradise is now characterized by wrecked cars and fat islanders. They
quickly changed their eating habits and stopped moving on foot or by bike, which
is a reasonable mode of transportation given the size of the islands.
At the same time, the population bought a $ 1.5 million a year office at the
United Nations to lobby for the Kyoto Protocol.