Wallis and Futuna (sometimes Wallis and Futuna; Territoire des
Iles Wallis et Futuna; Wallis and Futuna Islands) are islands in the
South Pacific, about 2⁄3 of the way between Hawaii and New Zealand.
In the north it borders with the territorial waters of Tuvalu, in
the east with the territorial waters of Samoa, in the southeast with
Tonga, in the west and south with Fiji. The exclusive economic zone
of the territory is about 266,000 km². The territory includes three
large islands (Uvea, Futuna, Alofi) and 22 small ones. Only Uvea and
Futuna live. The total area is 274 km², the population is 12 197
people (2013), (together with the temporary population - 12 867
people (2013)). The capital of the territory is Mata-Utu. The Dutch
Jacob Lemer and Willem Schauten discovered some of the islands of
the territory (Futuna and Alofi) in 1616. Since 1961, the territory
had the status of the overseas territory of France, and in 2003 it
was changed to the Overseas Community of France. Wallis and Futuna
are members of the Pacific Community Secretariat (since 1947), the
Pacific Regional Environmental Program, and an observer to the
Pacific Islands Forum (since 2006).
The Wallis Islands got their name in honor of the English
navigator Samuel Wallis, who visited them (the first of the
Europeans) during his circumnavigation of the years 1766-1768. The
Polynesian name of these islands - Uvea - translated from Wallis
language means "distant island." Probably, the islands received this
name from the colonialists from Tonga, for whom the island was
located far enough away.
Futuna Islands got their name from
the local name of the tree, Barringtonia asiatica (Barringtonia
asiatica) - a foot growing on the coast of the islands. Another
common name for these islands - Horn - they were given by the Dutch
Jacob Lemer and Willem Schouten in honor of their hometown.