Tonga, a country made up of 170 islands, lies in the South Pacific Ocean. Only 36 islands are inhabited by people. The islands have beaches, volcanic mountains and coral reefs. People here grow crops, such as bananas, taro, coconut and papayas.
Tonga was settled by Polynesian explorers around 500 B.C. Tongans believe the Polynesian God had a son with a Tongan maiden. This son became king of Tonga around 950 A.D. Until recently, Tonga has been ruled by descendants of this first king. Relatives of the king were made chiefs. For centuries, the chiefs fought among themselves. They also sent warships to Fiji and Samoa. When European explorers and missionaries arrived, the Tongans plotted to kill them and succeeded more than once.
Like other Polynesian cultures, Tongans put value on close family relationships and religious observance. Most Tongans are Christian and stores and shops close on Sunday. Tongan children are expected to respect and obey their elders.
Fun Facts about Tonga for Kids
- 102,000 people live in Tonga.
- Tonga has 289 square miles of land.
- Most people speak Tongan or English.
- Most people are Christian.
- People in Tonga can expect to live 68 years.
- 99 percent of adults can read.
- Warship: a boat designed for war
- Plot: plan, scheme
- Religious observance: church worship
Learn More All about Tonga
Check out this cool video all about Tonga for kids:
A video about the different islands of Tonga and the country’s culture and cuisine.
Question: How do people dress in Tonga?
Answer: Some people wear Western clothing, but traditional dress is a wrap-around skirt. Both men and women wear this skirt.
Map of Tonga
Here’s a map of the country of Tonga and all its cities and villages. Zoom in to get into street level or zoom out to see other countries around Tonga! You can see the terrain, but also see the roads, images of the buildings and even take a 3D tour through the streets of the cities of Tonga, as though you are actually there!
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