Wallis and Futuna


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.