Tonga stretches across approximately 800 kilometres in a north-south line.
It is surrounded by Fiji and Wallis and Futuna (France) to the northwest, Samoa to the northeast, Niue to the east, Kermadec (part of New Zealand) to the southwest, and New Caledonia (France) and Vanuatu to the farther west.
Tonga was settled from the west and Tongan were as warriers, war with it’s neighbours was the general past time.
The first European contact with Tonga was in 1616 when two Dutchmen encountered a Tongan canoe near the Niuas, resulting in several killed and captured Tongans. The next encounter was more fortuitous to both sides; Abel Tasman, another Dutchman, traded in Tongatapu and landed in the Ha’apai.
The Kingdom of Tonga ironically acquired the name “The Friendly Islands” from Captain Cook in 1777, on his third visit. The Ha’apai locals had prepared an enormous feast for the sailors, which was, unbeknownst to them, to be the lure for a plot to kill the Englishmen and take all their goods. The plan went awry, however, through a miscommunication between the nobles.
None of the previous Europeans had visited the Vava’u Group, so the “discovery” of those islands was left to a Spaniard, Don Francisco Mourelle.
He claimed the group for Spain, but because of concerns in the Americas, Spain didn’t follow up.
The Tongans have retained whatever part of their culture that was not changed by religion