For most of the nineteenth century, Western navigators referred to this archipelago as the "Lagoon Islands," a name gradually supplanted by the "Ellice Islands. The name and its Tuvaluan rendition Elise remained in use until the group separated from the Gilberts in The name "Tuvalu" is deemed traditional and roughly translates as "eight traditions.
Inhabitants assert their identity as members of distinct societies, referred to by the name of each of the eight traditionally inhabited islands.
Contemporary Tuvalu is a group of nine small islands and atolls, including the historically uninhabited Niulakita. They lie in a northwest-southeast chain stretching over square miles square kilometers of ocean in the western Pacific, north of Fiji, east of the Solomon Islands, and south and southeast of Kiribati.
The first four constitute a compact northern subgroup, while the latter five form a more scattered southern group. The climate throughout is tropical maritime. Seasonal variations are slight, though wet and stormy conditions with strong westerlies occur from December to February. During the rest of the year, easterly trade winds predominate. Rainfall is heavier in the south than in the north, although it is generally adequate throughout.
Limited storage capacity, however, means that water may become scarce even after Senior dating websites in tuvalu tourism relatively short dry spell. The national census enumerated 9, persons, but the total population of Tuvaluans was estimated at about 11, including those living in other parts of the Pacific, as well as those working on ships around the world. The separate island populations vary considerably, from over 4, on Funafuti, the capital, to fewer than on Niulakita.
The vast majority is of Tuvaluan ethnic origin, with a small minority of immigrants from other Pacific nations. A sizable group of advisers, officials, development workers, and volunteers from Western countries resides in Tuvalu at any one time, especially on Funafuti. Overseas, significant clusters of Tuvaluans are found on Kioa Island in Fiji aboutin Kiribati aboutand in New Zealand estimated at several hundred.
In Junethe Tuvaluan prime minister asked New Zealand to take another 3, migrants as a response to rising sea levels, but an agreement has not yet been reached. A few remain Senior dating websites in tuvalu tourism Nauru located northwest of Tuvaluwhere they once worked in large numbers in the phosphate and supporting industries.
In each case, Tuvaluans living outside their home nation adapt to the dominant culture, while retaining symbols of a distinct identity. The best estimates suggest a precontact population of around 3, After European contact, most of Tuvalu escaped the depredations wrought by diseases and other factors elsewhere in the Pacific, but Nukulaelae and Funafuti suffered significant population losses in when Peruvian "blackbirders" labor traders using a mixture of force and inducement kidnaped several hundred natives.
The population of these two islands has since more than recovered through natural increase and migration. The majority of people speak Tuvaluan, a Polynesian language, except for the inhabitants of Nui who speak a mainly Gilbertese Micronesian dialect.
Although all varieties of Tuvaluan are mutually intelligible, each island community has a distinct dialect. Nanumea, Nanumaga, and Niutao form a loose subgroup, while the inhabitants of the four Southern islands speak closely related dialects.
Tuvaluan is historically related to Polynesian Outlier languages in Melanesia, and is a more distant relative of Samoan and Tokelauan. Many Tuvaluans are competent in Samoan, which functioned as the language of church and to a lesser extent government until recently, as well as Gilbertese, the dominant language of the colony for seven decades.
Samoan in particular
Senior dating websites in tuvalu tourism exerted considerable influence on the structure of Tuvaluan. Since the mids, Samoan and Gilbertese have declined in importance "Senior dating websites in tuvalu tourism" English has become the prestige language and the medium of communication with the outside world.
While the symbols that relate persons to their home island are numerous, long-standing, and diffuse, those connecting persons to the nation-state are fewer, more recent, less well established, and comparatively self-conscious.
National identity is symbolized by a flag, a national anthem, a seal, and an Independence Day celebrated every year. The flag, devised for independence, represents each of the nine islands with a gold star. It also sports the Union Jack in the upper-left-hand corner, symbolic of membership in the Commonwealth, and a reminder of the British colonial presence. This design has been contested, however: These changes followed partisan politics, heavily influenced in turn by kinship and island affiliations.
The only medium of popular communication for promoting national integration is the radio station, which broadcasts highly sanitized information and entertainment for several hours a day.
Print media are confined to an intermittent government news sheet and an even more intermittent church newsletter. Both are difficult to obtain and consequently not widely read. There is no broadcast television technology in the country though videos are popular and have replaced film screenings as a mode of entertainment.
The educational system exerts conflicting pressures on national identity. There are only two secondary schools for the entire group, but entry is competitive. Any nation-building that results is, as elsewhere in the Pacific, concentrated in the emergent elite.
Emergence of the Nation. Tuvalu was probably settled as part of the backwash by which the Polynesian Outliers in Melanesia and Micronesia were populated after the main eastward historical wave of Polynesian migration. Lack of archaeological investigation makes original settlement dates difficult to establish.
Ethno-historical evidence suggests that the islands maintained sporadic contacts with one another, as well as with invaders and other visitors, principally from Samoa, Tonga, and Kiribati. Sustained contact did not take place until the early nineteenth century. From to the mids, Samoan missionaries from the London Missionary Society LMS established Christian churches on each island, Senior dating websites in tuvalu tourism from to Britain administered the group jointly with the Gilbert Islands, first as a protectorate and after as a colony.
While the Congregationalist ethos and limited resources of the LMS left each island largely to its own devices, British administration fostered a sense of commonality among the inhabitants of the group, encouraged by and in contrast to the often absent colonial officers, but also in contrast to the Gilbertese.
The founding of a boys' secondary school on Vaitupu in brought together children from around the group. The use of three atolls as bases for U. As Great Britain moved to divest itself of its Pacific possessions, Ellice Islanders decided against remaining tied to the more populous Gilbertese, who were judged to be different and inferior.
Britain reluctantly allowed the Ellice Islanders to secede in The newly renamed Tuvalu became independent in and its neighbor, renamed Kiribati, in Small numbers of migrants from other Pacific islands particularly Kiribati reside in Tuvalu, often through marriage, and their integration is mostly unproblematic.
The only significant pattern of group identification Senior dating websites in tuvalu tourism around a person's island of origin, which is reckoned according to one's kinship affiliations. When numbers permit, Tuvaluans use island of origin as an organizational principle for such purposes as exchange and celebrations, but it is not an ethnic marker as such.
Before Christianity, island communities probably consisted of dispersed hamlets. Under missionary influence, each island population became concentrated in one or two villages, spatially and socially divided into two or four "sides" feituu.
Membership in these is largely symbolic but serves as a way of organizing gift exchanges, games, fund-raising, and some fishing and communal projects.
In the neutral village center are located the church building, the maneapa or meetinghouse, and the village green malae. Until the s, houses throughout the group were open rectangular structures supported by pandanus posts and roofed with pandanus thatch.
Meeting houses were similar in design but larger, while churches and government buildings were and are built with imported materials. After a devastating hurricane on Funafuti Senior dating websites in tuvalu tourismdwellings were rebuilt with imported materials timber, wood-chip board, cement, and corrugated iron. Other islands gradually followed suit, and by the mids the only structures made of local material were small peripheral buildings such as cooking huts.
The only significant variation from the general pattern is on Funafuti, where space is more fragmented and diversely organized owing to the presence of the national government, the large number of residents from other islands, the greater and the airstrip of World War II vintage, which occupies much of the main islet.
Food in Daily Life. The most important cultivated plant is pulaka swamp tarogrown in large pits dug into the top layer of a freshwater lens, and valued for its resistance to drought and high salinity. Also of importance to the daily diet are coconut palms used for the collection of kaleve "toddy" as well as for the nutspandanus, bananas, and breadfruit.
Fish was traditionally the main source of dietary protein.
Today, particularly on Funafuti, imported rice and flour figure prominently in the daily diet, as well as canned and frozen meat. Weakly brewed tea has long been part of daily fare, often in preference to the nutrient-rich coconut toddy.
Meals are consumed two or three times a day at home. The few restaurants are all on Funafuti. Food Customs at Ceremonial Occasions. Feasts consist of Senior dating websites in tuvalu tourism daily staples, but in larger quantities, and with the addition of pork and fowl meat the product of local animal husbandryand occasional treats such as wild birds and turtle.
The daily activities of the inhabitants of the Outer Islands all islands other than Funafuti remain primarily subsistence-oriented. Fishing, agriculture, and animal husbandry occupy most individuals' days, supplemented by craft production for local consumption e.