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Some dates...

Vestiges and remains of Lapita pottery around the site of Utuleve let estimate the arrival of the first settlers on Uvea
(historic name of Wallis) around 1300 B.C. They would establish themselves along the west and north shores which are protected from the winds, living from fishing and farming while the women would make mother-of-pearl necklaces and all sorts of jewels.

Around 1400 starts the "Fortress Period". Tongian invaders sent by Tui-Tonga (The King of Tonga) land on the southern coast and establish themselves into fortresses. Tauloko, a high ranking tongian, on behalf of the Tui-Tonga becomes the first King of Uvea (the Hau). He establishes his residence in the center of Ha'afuasia fortress.

Around 1500, Tongian governors are sent to Wallis where they married wallisian women choosen among the high ranking families forming this way the wallisian nobility, many branches of which survive nowadays

Those King-governors did acquire sufficient power to face local quarrels as well as attacks from overseas so that, step by step, they got rid of the Tongian supervision. However, family, tradition and commercial exchanges were maintened. For instance, a legend recalls that around 1600 a huge dug-out boat, called "Lomipeau", was built to ship to Tonga blocks of basalt for the burial place of the-then King of Tonga, Uluakimiata. Many stories and legends were talled about this dug-out boat and nowaday Lomipeau is the commercial sign of one of the Island's hotels.

La pirogue Lomipeau

On August the 16th 1767, Samuel Wallis, captain in charge of the "Dolphin", drops anchor downwind of Uvea. Two rowboats are sent ashore in order to sound the waters and the coastal approches. As the two boats are approching, a group of dug-out boats, each one manned by a bunch of 6 to 8 natives, then described as "robust and tough", sail to encounter. Initial contacts are friendly, metal nails are exchanged against spears and necklaces, but after the natives attempted to capture one of the rowboats, the officer in charge is obliged to order a musket-gun fire. No one is wounded, however the roar of the detonation is so frightfull to the natives that they run away in a great panic. Finally, the British boats sailed back to the Dolphin and hauled up aboard. Early, on the next morning, Samuel Wallis decides to sail away. His fellow officers to honour him gave the name of Wallis to the Island.

On November the 1st 1837, arrived in Wallis the schoomer "Raiatea" with a bunch of fathers of the Marist Congregation leaded by Bishop Pompallier. Father Bataillon and Father Luzy are disembarked and the schoomer Raiatea resumes its navigation towards Futuna where Father Chanel and Brother Lizier are disembarked. Life conditions are severe ; nevertheless in Wallis, Father Bataillon starts to evangelize the natives in drastic manners so that in 1842 practically the whole population is converted to the catholic religion.

In 1842, Father bataillon is elevated to the distinguished title of First Bishop of Oceania. A tough character, Bishop Bataillon is a real instigator and promotor of the Christianity. He undertakes the translation of religious writings and books into wallisian language and is very keen in the education and training of the Wallisian and Futunian Youth. he also manages to spread out catholic missionnaries all around the many islands in the Pacific region. Locally, he often acts as an ombudsman to solve quarrels and disputes.


On November the 19th 1886, Amelia, the-then Queen of Wallis, places a request towards the French Authority in order to obtain the status of a protectorate. Thru this treaty, she ought to place Wallis under the protective wing of France against any other foreign colionalist enterprises. She, however puts on the condition to maintain for Wallis a certain degree of self-government and also for her, to maintain the Kingdom.The treaty is ratified by the French Government on April the 5th 1887. Soon after in 1888, the same treaty is granted to the sister Island of Futuna.

In 1926, Alain Gerbault, a famous and first lomesome navigator, makes a stop in Wallis. His ship, the "Firecrest", smashes its hull on the coral plateau of Mata'utu.

Following Pearl Harbour's attack on December the 7th 1941, the USA immediatly involved themselves in WWII.
The US army commanding staff decides to organize a defence line through the Pacific Ocean in order to block further progress and invasion of the Japanese troups.
American troups have already landed in Australia, New Zealand, New Hebrides, Bora Bora and the Samoans when
on May the 28th 1942, they land in Wallis using the Fatumanini Pass. 2000 GI's are scattered on the whole Island in many camps. The presence of up to 6000 GI's disturbs the local way of live. The Americans with their important weaponry, a deeply and impressive equipment unknown until then by the Wallisians : bulldozers, cranes, trucks and those marvelous little agricultural Farmall tractors, fully equiped with all sorts of accessories making farming so easy. Roads are marked out and built as well as two landing strips, one in the middle of Wallis at lavegahau, the other up North at Hihifo which is still the site of nowadays airport.
The native manpower is largely used for all sorts of jobs and services. Easy-to earn dollars and food supply are abundant. Love affairs between Wallisian ladies and GI's are common and from those unions numerous children get borned and are nicknamed "amelika". Quite a number of american words are now part of the wallisian vocabulary such as "motoka" for motor car.
The GI's quit the Island in 1944.

barge US


In 1959, Tomasi Kulimoetoke, King of Wallis and both Kings of Futuna, ask general De Gaulle to declare and organize the archipelago as a French Overseas Territory.
A new political status is applied upon July the 29th 1961 in place of the former protectorate status. Wallis and Futuna Islands are placed under the authority of a Superior Administrator whose residence is Wallis and a deputy Administrator whose residence is Futuna.
The archipelago is ruled under the July 29 th 1961 Law which states in its paragraph 3 :
"The (French) Republic guaranties to the people of Wallis and Futuna, free practice of their traditions as long as they do not
counteract the general principles of the Right and arrangements of the actual law".

Thru this law, the French Government admits the authorities of the three Kings who are therefore
the last Kings of France.