Tuvalu Islands were settled approximately 2,000 years ago. However, the language, traditions and household items clearly indicate that modern residents of the country are descendants of the Tongsans and Samunts, landed on the Islands of Tuvalu in about the XIV-XVII centuries. In 1597, the island "Opened" The navigator Don Alvaro de Mendan-I-Neira, who during his expedition to search for legendary "Southern Islands" made swimming through the atoll of Tuvalu, completely without paying attention to them. Only in the late XVIII century Europeans began to master the non-microgenic "Islands cannibalov", Applying all the islands of Tuvalu to the card by 1826. His European name, Islands of Ellis, this land received in honor of the British Lord of Ellis, who belonged to the ship, for the first time landed settlers on the Funafuti atoll in 1819. Missionaries I "Checkers" from Queensland and Fiji began actively "learn" Islands from the beginning of the 60s of the XIX century. The slave trade was so successful that the United Kingdom decided to annonize the islands to put an end to the dirty fishery. In 1892, the islands became part of the Protectorate of Hilbert and Ellis, and in 1916 were transformed into "Colonium Crown". During World War II, US Navy used the most northern Tuvalu atoll – Nanuma, as an advanced base for blocking Japanese claims to Gilbert Islands. October 1, 1978 Tuvalu was proclaimed by an independent state as part of the British Commonwealth.
The capital of Tuvalu – Funafuti, is quite typical for "coral states" Western Pacific. It is a major atoll atoll (2.54 kV area area. km) drop-like form consisting of a series of small islands surrounding an extensive lagoon with dimensions of 14 x 18 km. Sushi strip width is about 70 meters, so everything is extended here in length, starting from the capital, having a small village, somewhere in Australia, to cemeteries and port facilities. Numerous passages in the reef wall make access to the lagoon fairly light, but large ocean vessels are forced to moor at the outer wall of the reef.
More than half of the islanders live in the city Vaiaku On the island of Fongafal – the administrative and commercial center of the country. This is a rather colorful settlement, in which there are absolutely no industrial enterprises (two tiny factories produce textiles and soaps), from more or less modern buildings you can find only the home of the government and the complex of government buildings (built by the Government of Taiwan), Bank, Airport, Hotel Vaiaku-Lagi and police department, and pigs for pigs and burial sites coexist here with residential quarters. The farm growing vegetables in the imported soil lies only 100 meters from the church and 50 meters from the WFP of the local airfield, where all sports competitions are held. Just a kilometer from the center of the town is the main deep-water berth of the island, built with Australian help in 1981, near which the only supermarket of the country – Funafuti Fusi spread.
The area between Vaiak and the pier is engaged in a small microdistrict in which the houses were built by New Zealanders (1990), the roads – the Americans (1991), the runway – the European Union (1992), and the airport building itself, like the seaport, by the way – Australians (1993). Philatelic Bureau Tuvalu, one of the main local attractions, is located in the southern end of the neighborhood. Tuvalu’s brands, widely known among collectors in all countries of the world, are printed abroad and give up to 20% of the country’s national income. The Women’s Field Center, which creates the best ethnic souvenirs of the country, lies just 200 meters from the Vaiaku-Lagi Hotel, in which the only bar is located on the island. Nearby is the University of Saus-Pacific Centr, which has a good bookstore with an extensive collection of books on history and culture in Tuvalu and region. The air in the capital is crystal clear, there are many greenery, and the pace of life is measured and leisurely.
Huge Lagoon Funafuti – the main attraction of the atoll. In addition to pure water and abundance of marine life, Laguna can offer a trip to the remote island of the atoll and beautiful views of the sunrise or sunset. Funafuti’s atoll was one of the main points of advanced defense of the US Navy during the Second World War, so there are many traces of those terrible years on the island of Fongafal and in Lagoon. Well preserved underground bunker can be found on the island of the Tempuka. And on Funafuti, to a considerable pride of local residents, there is a former experimental well (depth of about 300 m), used during experiments on the proof of Darwin’s theory about evolution and formation of coral atolls.
North of Funafuti Lies to read the right square of Nukufetau atoll (3.07 kV. km). Central Atoll Lagoon, unlike most of the other islands of the archipelago, deeply, and with the ocean it connects a narrow and long passage in the northern part of the reef. Therefore, here you can find a real "Kindergarten" For many inhabitants of the Great Ocean, making this place excellent for diving. And the colorful landscape of the atoll, with his palm groves strictly in the corners "Square", Made it one of the best places in Oceania for a secluded rest and landscape photography.
Nanuma Atoll, the most northern island of Tuvalu and the most densely populated from the external islands of the country, lies in 475 km north-west of Funafuti. Small by the standards of the Pacific region, nevertheless, has an area of 3.61 kV. km and is the biggest atoll of Tuvalu. The atoll is a boomerang reef like a length of about 10 km with a width of 3 km, and consists of two main islands – Southeast Nanuma and North-West Laen. Between them stretch a series of tiny islets formed by the tops of the extended reef connecting the major islands into a closed loop. Wide reefs are adjacent to the central lagoon, which is divided into two pretty deep pools.
Polynesian legends say that two women lived on Nanuma – Pai and Wow. They caught fish, and the sand from their baskets (islanders still catch fish with similar structures) lined up in the sea and as a result it turned out for a nanode and many neighboring islets. Tefolac Tongolah’s Tongolah allegedly proacts of these mythical "Builders of Islands" on Nutoo, and became the ancestor of local residents who are widely known in the niche of the days in the whole of Oceania as powerful sorcerers. Two Tungary Warriors (Kiribati) – Cita and Caita, the legendary hero of modern Kiribati, as they say, even bypassed in their campaign of Nanuma, wounding the flows and water films, allegedly created by local sorcerers.
The main attraction of the island – numerous traces of World War II. There was a base of the American Navy, the testimony of which are somewhat sunken ships and combat aircraft (including bomber B-24) in the waters of its picturesque lagoon. The old runway is on the northeast side of Nanuma. With the resolution of the pastor, you can also climb to the high bell tower of the local cathedral in the Gothic style, from which the wonderful view of the atoll and the ocean surrounding.
Similar from the aerial view of the integral, Nuculalae Island ("Land Peskov") Lies 120 km south-east of Funafuti. Atoll is widely known as the location of the only pre-Christian cult area on the islands. However, only a large altar stone standing in shrub has been preserved to this day. About who and when built this "altar", Scientists argue so far. One undoubtedly – it was famous "Peoples of the sea", Ancestors of many modern Oceanian tribes.
The Nui Atoll lies in the middle between the North and Southern groups of the Tuvalu archipelago and has an area of about 3.37 kV. KM. The oval atoll consists of 9 relatively large and approximately a dozen small islands lying on a wide (about 200 m) a reef shelf, enclosing from the north, the East and the south of a narrow lagoon. The largest island of the atoll – Fenoa Tupu, is located in the southernmost part of it. Opposite him, in the northern part of the atoll, lies the second largest island – Meang. Everything else is the usual coral rocks and islands, between which the ocean waves are freely rolled into the lagoon and back (during the low tide you can move from the island to the island almost no flashing legs).
Nui consider one of the quietest and serene islands in Tuvalu. Here, coconut palms, breadwinning and pandanus grow in abundance, many grain crops of the type are grown "Babai", "Tauroro" and "Bero", And the lagoon, the reef and the ocean supply a sufficient amount of fresh fish on the table. Therefore, it is believed exactly here it is best to try traditional dishes of local cuisine. And the ocean water off the coast of the atoll is abounding life, so perfectly suitable for diving.
The southernmost island of the archipelago Tuvalu, Niuluckit differs from the rest of the islands of the group that he does not have a central lagoon – at its usual place here is a swamp that in itself the rarest phenomenon for the region. Niuluckite was not included in "Group eight" When mastering the polynesian archipelago district – it is too small (length is only 1 kilometer at an area of 0.42 kV. km), distant and difficult to access. The famous Spanish researcher Alvaro de Mendan-I-Neira in 1595 the first of Europe detected this island, and called him La Solitaria. Until the middle of the 20th century, the island did not have a permanent population. However, after World War II, the inhabitants of Nutao Island, literally suffocating at the time of overcrowding began to relocate. And now Niuluckite and Niutao are associated with many related links, turning into a certain island megalopolis, for the inhabitants of the main settlement on Niulakit – Manapee, spend more time in the ocean or on Nutoa than at home.
Niulakit is considered the best place in Tuvalu to meet the traditional game of islanders – "Kiliki" or "Te-Anno" ("ball"), resembling a mix of baseball and volleyball. And the surrounding island of the ocean water, though somewhat poorly reefs, than around the northern islands, but here are much more migrant ocean species, starting with whales and manant, and ending with albatrosses and other birds.