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Friday 24th May
Wallis and Futuna Facts
The islands of the Pacific are usually divided into three areas: Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia.

Polynesia, which means many islands, is a name covering over a thousand islands between Hawaii, New Zealand and Easter Island.

Polynesian islands include the Cook Islands, French Polynesia, Niue, Samoa, American Samoa, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu and Wallis and Futuna.

People known as the Lapita arrived in the region around 800 BC.

The Lapita were given this name after Lapita in New Caledonia, one of the first places where Lapita pottery was discovered.

The Talietumu archaeological site on Wallis, dating back to 1450 AD, was a fortified Tongan settlement.

Samoans settled on Futuna. Samoan traditions are still observed today.

Traditional houses on Futuna follow the Samoan style

The Dutch arrived in Futuna at the beginning of the seventeenth century.

The British discovered the island of Wallis in the 1760s.

Wallis was named after Samuel Wallis, the English explorer.

The missionary Pierre Chanel arrived in Futuna in 1837 but was killed four years later.

St Pierre Chanel was made the patron saint of Oceania in 1954.

The Pierre Chanel church marks the place where the saint was martyred.

France declared a protectorate over Wallis and Futuna in the 1840s, increasing its control in the 1880s.

Wallis and Futuna officially became a French Colony in 1924.

American troops were stationed on the island of Wallis during the Second World War.

The islanders of Wallis and Futuna voted to become a French Overseas Territory in 1959.

As a French territory Wallis and Futuna celebrates Bastille Day on 14 July.

A number of people from Wallis and Futuna have moved to New Caledonia to find employment.

In December 2012 tropical cyclone Evan caused damage in Wallis and Futuna, particularly to Wallis Island.

Coral bleaching caused by climate change is a serious threat to Wallis and Futuna.

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