Island Kingdom, Paperback / softback Book

Island Kingdom Paperback / softback


The book is a comprehensive, up-to-date, authoritative but readable account of Tongan society from its origins 3000 years ago to the present.

It discusses its archaeology, the development of traditional society, and the transition of that society to modernity.

Social change, economic development and political change are dominant themes.

The island kingdom of Tonga, situated in the South Pacific about a third of the way between New Zealand and Hawai'i, was probably the first part of Polynesia to be settled by humans, about 3,000 years ago.

Periods of isolation alternated with periods of regular contact with neighbouring island groups while Tongan culture developed its distinctive variant of the Polynesian theme.

Modern Tonga was molded by dramatic changes in the nineteenth century during which the population converted to Christianity, and a formal state was established under a written constitution.

As a result of benign British supervision, Tonga was the only Pacific archipelago not to be formally controlled by a European power.

After two or three generations of tranquil consolidation, late in the twentieth century a vigorous and ambitious king forced his country into a trajectory of economic development and rapid social change, which eventually created a demand for political reform and democratization.

Tonga is less isolated, more prosperous and yet seemingly more troubled now than at any time in its history.


  • Format: Paperback / softback
  • Pages: 328 pages
  • Publisher: Canterbury University Press
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Humamities
  • ISBN: 9781927145692


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