'Eua


'Eua

okinaEua is a smaller but still major island in the kingdom of Tonga. It is close to Tongatapu.

Geography

okinaEua is a hilly island, the highest tops are the "Teokinaemoa" (chicken manure) 312m, with the grave of the soldier on top, and the "Vaiangina" (watersprings) 305m. Yet the island is not volcanic. It is shaped by the rubbing of the Tonga plate against the Pacific plate, pushing okinaEua up and leaving the 7 km (10.8km if you ask Dan) deep Tonga trench on the bottom of the ocean, a short distance towards the east. The soil of okinaEua is volcanic, as it is of Tongatapu, but that is only the toplayer, deposited by eruptions of nearby volcanoes tenthousands years ago. Under it are the solid rocks of pushed up coral. okinaEua counts many huge caves and holes, which not all yet have been explored.

okinaEua is the only island in Tonga that has a river (only after rain), and has (until Vavaokinau got one too) the only bridge in the kingdom. It drains into the harbour near the capital of the island, okinaOhonua.

A unique feature is the shore between okinaOhonua and Tufuvai. It is coralreef only a little bit pushed up by and still cose to the sealevel. Many small tidal pools are found, named the okinaotumatafena.

Myths

Together with okinaAta, okinaEua was the first island to be hooked up by Maui.

History

okinaEua was put on the European maps by Abel Tasman would reached it and Tongatapuon 21 January 1643. He called it "Middelburg" island, after the capital of the Netherlands province of Zeeland. He did not go on land, but proceeded to the Hihifo district of Tongatapu, which he named "Amsterdam" island after the capital of the Netherlands.

Demography

The villages of the original inhabitants of okinaEua are all in the north Houma, Taokinaanga, okinaOhonua, Pangai, Tufuvai.

Haokinaatuokinaa and Kolomaile are from the original inhabitants from okinaAta, who were resettled there in 1863. The villages just north of that up to Angahā, are from the inhabitants of Niuafookinaou who were resettled there in 19xx.


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