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Pacific Island Guide  >  Wallis and Futuna Islands
Wallis and futuna.png
Ruins of Talietumu fort on ʻUvea (Wallis and Futuna).

General Information

These islands are located east of Samoa and northwest of Tahiti. The islands are volcanic, with a lagoon. The climate is tropical, and the economy is based on copra, handicrafts, and fishing. The people are ethnically Polynesian. The capital, Mata-Utu, is on Ile Uvea.
Population in 1996:Wallis 9,708, Futuna: 4,639. The main language isFrench. Many natives have immigrated to New Caledonia. Defense is provided by France.

Historical background

B.C.  Austronesians leave traces of Lapita pottery from their civilization.
1450 Tongan navigators come to Uvea and inhabit the islands.
1600 A chiefly title system of nobility is established under the Tui Tonga.
1616 Dutch navigators discover Futuna and Alofi and name them the Hoorne Islands.
1767 English navigator, Samuel Wallis, discovers the island of Uvea.
1825 Whalers and merchant vessels visit the islands.
1837 Catholic Marist missionaries arrive at both islands.
1842 The entire population has converted to Catholicism. Missionaries protect the populations from exploitation and abuse by whalers and merchants.
1886 The Offisa, or Wallisian constitution is established.
1887 A protectorate treaty is signed with the French government.
1931 A maritime connection is made with New Caledonia, and French currency becomes legal tender.
1942 Both islands become part of the French colony. Allies build an airbase on Wallis Island, which is abandoned after the war.
1958 The population votes to become an Overseas French Territory.

Resources Available

The Family History Library Catalog lists under Wallis and Futuna - Genealogy a book by Joseph Henquel, Genealogies of Wallisian Families. It is a microfilm of originals at the Catholic Bishop’s Office in Lano, Wallis Island. Microfilm number 1341263, 1514313, 1514314, and 1514315 are films of this manuscript.



 

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