—  Island  —
NASA Landsat visible color image
Nanumanga is located in Tuvalu
Location in Tuvalu
Coordinates: 06°20′S 176°25′E / 6.333°S 176.417°E / -6.333; 176.417Coordinates: 06°20′S 176°25′E / 6.333°S 176.417°E / -6.333; 176.417
Country Tuvalu
 - Total 3 km2 (1.2 sq mi)
Population (2002)
 - Total 589
 - Density 196.3/km2 (508.5/sq mi)
Demonym Nanumangan

Nanumanga or Nanumaga is a reef island and a district of the Oceanian island nation of Tuvalu. It has a surface area of about 3 km².



On May 9, 1824 a French government expedition under Captain Louis Isidor Duprerrey of the ship Coquille sighted Nanumaga.[1]

Louis Becke, who later became a writer, working with the Liverpool firm of John S. de Wolf and Co. on Nanumanga from about April 1880 until the trading-station was destroyed later that year in a cyclone.[2] Becke later wrote The Rangers of the Tia Kau[3] that describes a shark attack at the Tia Kau reef between Nanumea and Nanumanga.

The population of Nanumaga from 1860-1900 is estimated to be between 300[4] to 335 people.[5]

In 1986 it became a centre of debate by Pacific archaeologists who discovered the submerged Caves of Nanumanga, which found the remains of fire created by pre-historic inhabitants.


There are three lagoons, the largest, Vaiatoa, having four islands. There are mangrove woods and dry vegetation. The island has an oval outline, with the longer axis oriented north-south. A fringing reef surrounds the whole island, which makes local fishing and transport into and out of the island difficult.


  • Cape on the north: Te Kaupapa
  • Cape on the south: Te Papa


At the 2002 census the population of the atoll was 589.


The two villages are Tonga (population 308) and Tokelau (pop. 281), at the western side of the island. The junior school is Lotohoni Primary School.


There are a few paths.


Nanumanga is one of the eight constituencies in Tuvalu, and elects two Members of Parliament. Following the 2010 general election, its current representatives are Monise Lafai and Falesa Pitoi. Pitoi was a successfully re-elected incumbent, while Lafai defeated incumbent Otinielu Tausi.

2010 election results

Nanumaga constituency results [6]
Party Candidate Votes Percentage
Non-partisan Monise Lafai Symbol confirmed.svg 379  %
Non-partisan Falesa Pitoi Symbol confirmed.svg 296  %
Non-partisan Otinielu Tausi 230  %


  1. ^ Keith S. Chambers & Doug Munro, The Mystery of Gran Cocal: European Discovery and Mis-Discovery in Tuvalu, 89(2) (1980) The Journal of the Polynesian Society, 167-198
  2. ^ 'Louis Beck, Adventurer and Writer', Chapter 8, Rascals in Paradise, James A. Michener and Arthur Grove Day, Secker and Warburg (1957)
  3. ^
  4. ^ Richard Bedford, Barrie Macdonald & Doug Monro, Population Estimates for Kiribati and Tuvalu (1980) 89(1) J. of the Polynesian Society 199
  5. ^ W.F. Newton, The Early Population of the Ellice Islands, 76(2) (1967) The Journal of the Polynesian Society, 197-204.
  6. ^ Cannon, Brian (2010-09-16). "Tuvalu Election Results". Tuvalu News ( Retrieved 2010-09-17. 

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