Know some general characteristics of Oceania, a continent
basically formed by islands.
is a continent located southeast of Asia, bathed in the
Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the smallest among the
continents, the most isolated and, therefore, the last to be
discovered and conquered by the Europeans, being therefore
called "brand new world".
Most of its land, about 94%, is Australian territory,
being the only portion of land of continental dimensions
from that location. The other 6% is divided into thousands
and thousands of islands. In total, there are 14 countries
and 38 million inhabitants, spread over an area of
Australia, in addition to being the largest country in
territorial dimensions, is also the most economically and
socially developed, having the third highest Human
Development Index on the planet. Sydney, is the largest,
most populous and most developed city on the continent. For
these reasons, many people call it Australasia.
The portion of islands that make up Oceania is
Countryaah in Melanesia,
Micronesia and Polynesia. In
literal translation, these names mean, respectively,
“islands inhabited by blacks”, “small islands” and “many
islands”. Look at the map below to see this division:
The continent is considered to have a recent geological
formation, so that much of its relief is of volcanic origin
and has suffered to a lesser extent the actions of external
agents of transformation of soil and rocks. Because it is at
the limit between two tectonic plates, many regions have
records of earthquakes.
As it is a group of islands, most of the animals in
Oceania are endemic, that is, they only exist in that part
of the world, and are therefore constantly threatened with
extinction. Among them, we can highlight the Kangaroo and
the Tasmanian Demon.
Most of the islands and places that are part of this
continent are of great beauty, with truly exuberant
landscapes. It is not by chance that the main economic
activity of most of these countries is tourism. Other
important activities are fishing and agriculture.
The traditional religions of Melanesia, Micronesia and
Polynesia are different, but there are common features. In
common are the "great men" who, through personal skill,
happiness and prestige, are able to influence nature and
society. Happiness, mana, creates an immobility or
sacrality, tapu (see taboo), which can be increased
or decreased depending on the man's skill in social,
political or religious situations.
The world is influenced by the dead, the mythical
cultural heroes and the gods. The dead who live in their own
world can be dangerous, but they can also help man,
especially their own relatives. The many messianic movements
that spread in connection with the arrival of Europeans were
due, among other things, to the belief that the whites had
The dead are buried twice and in some places the skull is
stored separately for cult use. In most of the islands,
annual ceremonies are performed for the dead, but the dead
are also regularly asked for advice on crisis situations,
during ecstatic dances.
Each genus was, according to the myths, assigned rituals
in ancient times, which were to be used to secure the course
of the Universe, but which could also be used as black magic
to destroy enemies. The genus performs annual ceremonies;
Among other things, the first crops are celebrated.
The cultural heroes bestowed on humanity the good and the
oddities of culture. The gods created the cosmos and blend
into the world constantly. They manifest themselves in
nature as well as in their cult statues. In the more
hierarchical societies, in Polynesia, for example, each
genus has a god incarnating in the genus, and the young men
are consecrated in the god's cult in connection with
circumcision, skin cuts or tattoos.
Tuvalu, an island state and constitutional monarchy in
the southwestern Pacific Ocean approximately 2500 kilometers
east of New Guinea and approximately 1000 kilometers north
of Fiji, and midway between Australia and Hawaii. Located
west of the International Date Line. The nearest neighboring
countries are Kiribati in the north and east, the Solomon
Islands in the west and in the south Fiji and Wallis and the
Futuna Islands. The capital is Funafuti; the administration
offices are in Vaiaku on the small island of Fongafale.
Tuvalu borders in the west to the Solomon Islands, in the
northwest corner of Nauru, in the north and northeast of
Kiribati, in the east to Tokelau (New Zealand) and in the
south to Wallis and Futuna (French) and Fiji.
Consists of 9 small coral islands; formerly called the
Ellice Islands and is spread over 600 kilometers
northwest-southeast. The world's fourth smallest state by
land area. Sea level rise threatens the country's existence
in the long run. Tuvalu is also among the world's smallest
states in terms of population.
Tuvalu (the name) means '8 that stands/belongs' and
refers to 8 of the atolls the country consists of (there are
actually 9, but the smallest atoll is part of another
National anthem is 'Tuvalu mo te Atua' ('Tuvalu for the
Geography and environment
The atolls are low and form the peaks of an underwater
volcanic chain; the highest point is about 4.5 meters above
sea level at Niulakita. The atolls are very exposed to sea
level rise (10 centimeters in the last 20 years) and some
countries are washed away due to more frequent storms and
extremely high tide. There are few natural harbors; Funafuti
is the only deep water port. The soil is rocky and there are
no watercourses. Tuvalu lacks drinking water and stores
The vegetation is mainly grass, ferns, coconut palms and
screw palms. One third of the land area is forested.
Only mammal with natural occurrence is Polynesia rat. At
the coast there are dolphins and humpback whales. 9 species
of seabirds and 4 species of landbirds nest; in addition,
other species of birds come on the move. There are a number
of reptiles, including geckos, hams, sea turtles and some
species of poisonous sea snakes. 607 fish species (2010)
have been identified. There are many species of corals,
clams and snails.
Tuvalu has tropical sea climates down rainy season from
November to April and drying season from May to October.
Funafuti has an average temperature of 28.9 o C
in January and 27.2 o C in July as well as an
annual rainfall of 4000 millimeters. January is the driest
month. June-August is the driest month. The weather
phenomenon of El Niño increases the frequency of cyclones,
which hit the country most recently in 2015, and tropical
storms, while La Niña increases the effects of drought.
People and society
Ethnic Polynesians make up 96 percent and Micronesians 4
percent of the population, which has more than doubled since
1980. 59.7 percent of the population is urban (2015) and
more than half live in Funafuti.
Life expectancy at birth is 68.41 years for women and
64.01 years for men (2015).
98.4 percent of the population are Congregationalist
Protestants (Church of Tuvalu), 1.4 percent are Seventh-day
Adventists, while Baha'i has 1 percent support.
Official languages are bilingual and English. Some also
speak Samoan and I-Kiribati (part of the island of Nui).
26.3 per cent of the population lives below the poverty
State and politics
Tuvalu is a parliamentary-democratic constitutional
monarchy and a member of the Commonwealth of Nations. Head
of State Queen Elizabeth 2. is represented by a general
governor who must be a dual citizen. The executive is with
the prime minister and the government. Up to 4 ministers are
appointed by the Governor-General on a proposal from the
Prime Minister. The Parliament, 'Palamene o Tuvalu', has 15
members elected in general elections for 4 years, but can be
dissolved before elections. There are no political parties.
There are elected councils of 6 members as well as some
ex officio members on the 9 atolls, who have limited
Tuvalu does not have its own defense; Australia's
security is safeguarded by Australia.
Tuvalu is a member of the UN and some of the UN's special
organizations, Commonwealth of Nations, Pacific Islands
Forum and the Cotonou Agreement.
The first inhabitants probably came from the north
2000-3000 years ago. Tuvalu was discovered by Spaniard
Álvaro de Mendaña in 1568, but he did not go ashore. British
captain Arent Schuyler de Peyster sailed through southern
Tuvalu with the ship 'Rebecca' in 1819 and named the islands
Ellice Islands after Edward Ellice, the ship's owner. Slave
traders from Peru, in 1862-64, captured more than 400 people
at Funafuti and Nukulaelae; no one returned.
In 1865, began missionaries from Samoa evangelism in
Tuvalu (in the 1920s, the entire population to
Christianity). European traders introduced diseases,
including measles; the population sank from about 20,000 in
1850 to about 3,000 in 1875. The British ruled the islands
from 1877 and became part of the Protectorate Gilbert and
Ellice Islands Colony in 1892. The Protectorate became a
colony in 1915. The archipelago was outside the combat zones
during World War II.
In 1974, the people of the Ellice Islands voted to
separate the Gilbert Islands, and the following year, the
Ellice Islands became the British colony of Tuvalu. In 1978,
Tuvalu became an independent monarchy within the
Commonwealth. In 1983, the country's fishing zone was
expanded to 1.3 million square kilometers. In 1989, the
United Nations Environment Program warned that Tuvalu is one
of 5 island groups particularly threatened by sea level
rise. In 2000, Tuvalu joined the UN.
Economy and business
Tuvalu has few natural resources other than fish.
Agriculture is centered on growing coconut trees, partly for
export, screw palms, taro, papaya, breadfruit and bananas.
Pigs, chickens and goats are the most important livestock.
Government revenue comes from the sale of fishing licenses
and leasing of the country's electronic nationality
designation (domain name).tv and from the Tuvalu Trust Fund
(TTF) investment fund. Tuvalu also has revenue from the
country's ship register and sale of stamps.
The industry is little developed; production of copra for
export, fish processing and braided crafts as the most
important. Because the country's location is so isolated,
tourism is insignificant; it is mostly focused on
ecotourism. The services sector accounts for 70 per cent of
state revenues (2012).
About 15 per cent of male laborers work abroad; Many of
them send money to the family.
Knowledge and culture
The schooling is free and compulsory for children aged
6-15. All the islands have elementary school; there are two
on the island of Vaitupu. It is a 2-year high school. There
is a maritime and a technical school as well as a department
of the University of South Pacific. Other education is
provided with scholarships in Fiji or other countries.
The authorities publish an official newspaper in Tuvalu
and English every 14 days. There is 1 state radio station,
Radio Tuvalu, which broadcasts in Tuvalu and English, but no
separate television station; some foreign television
broadcasts are taken via satellite.
The Bible was translated into Tuvalu in 1987. Afaese
Manoa (1942-) wrote text and music for the national anthem,
and is the country's best-known author.
The most important art forms are designs of clothes,
bracelets and traditional crafts such as fan and rug
Popular sports include 'kilikiti' (Samoan cricket), 'ano'
(a local form of volleyball) and football.