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Tuvalu Cities

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Tuvalu Cities by Population


3 cities shown of 3 total Tuvalu cities that are over 1,000 in population...

1. Funafuti 4,492
2. Alapi Village 1,024
3. Fakaifou Village 1,007





Tuvalu History

Tuvaluans are a Polynesian people who settled the islands around 3000 years ago coming from Tonga and Samoa. During pre-European-contact times there was frequent canoe voyaging between the nearer islands. Eight of the 9 islands of Tuvalu were inhabited; thus the name, Tuvalu, means eight standing together"" in Tuvaluan. Possible evidence of fire in the Caves of Nanumanga may indicate human occupation thousands of years before that."

Tuvalu was first sighted by Europeans in 1568 with the arrival of lvaro de Mendaa de Neira from Spain who also encountered the island of Nui but was unable to land.

No other Europeans turned up again until the late 1700s when other European explorers reached the area. By the early 1800s whalers were roving the Pacific though visiting Tuvalu only infrequently, because of the difficulties of landing ships on the atolls, and no settlements were established by them.

Peruvian slave raiders combed the Pacific between 1862 and 1864 and Tuvalu was one of the hardest-hit Pacific island groups with over 400 people taken from Funafuti and Nukulaelae, none of whom returned."

In 1865 the London Missionary Society, Protestant congregationalists, began their process of evangelisation of Tuvalu and the people's conversion to Christianity was complete by the 1920s. Also in the late 1800s, European traders began to live on the islands hoping to profit from local resources.

In 1892 the islands became part of the British protectorate known as the Ellice Islands. The protectorate was incorporated into the Gilbert and Ellice Islands Colony in 1916. In 1943, during World War II, Tuvalu was selected as an operations base for Allied forces battling the Japanese in the Pacific. Thousands of marines were stationed there until December 1945.







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