The history of Fiji begins with the arrival of the first humans in the archipelago of Fiji, who would be the Austronesians from Southeast Asia. The first European to land on the islands was the Dutch Abel Tasman in 1643.
In the seventeenth century a civil war broke out in Tonga. It was at this time that the first Europeans arrived, beginning in 1616 with the duo Willem Schouten and Jacob Le Maire, Dutch navigators who discovered a route to the Pacific islands and then published their adventures in a diary. In 1643 the discoverer of Tasmania and New Zealand, Abel Tasman, passed through the islands of Tongatapu and Há’pai. A century later, in 1773 Tonga was visited by the illustrious Captain Cook, discoverer of Australia and Hawaii. The first missionaries went there in 1797, and in 1822 Methodist Lawry Buller helped convert the Tongans into Methodists.
The United Kingdom established a protectorate in the Solomon Islands in the 1890s. Some of the most violent fighting in World War II occurred on these islands. Self-government was achieved in 1976 and independence was granted on July 7, 1978. The current problems are corruption, land-related relations, government deficits, deforestation and malaria control.
In the tenth century, the Tu’i Tonga Empire established itself in Tonga, and Fiji was within the sphere of its influence. The rule of the Empire brought customs and languages of the Polynesians to Fiji. The Tu’i Tonga Empire declined in the thirteenth century.
The Solomon Islands are a small island nation that lies to the east of Papua New Guinea and consists of many islands: Choiseul, the Shortland Islands, the islands of New Georgia, Santa Isabel, the Russell Islands, the Florida Islands, Malaita, Guadalcanal, Sikaiana, Maramasike, Ulawa, Uki, San Cristobal, Santa Ana, Rennell, Bellona and the islands of Santa Cruz. The distance between the islands to the east and those situated to the west is about 1500 km. The islands of Santa Cruz, in particular, located north of Vanuatu (country of which Tikopia is part), are isolated more than 200 km from the other islands. There are volcanoes in varying degrees of activity on some of the larger islands, while most of the smaller ones are just small atolls covered with sand and palm trees.