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Wallis & Futuna

Map Courtesy CIA World Factbook

The Collectivity of Wallis and Futuna (French: Collectivité de Wallis et Futuna) is a group of mainly three volcanic tropical islands (Wallis, Futuna, and Alofi) with fringing reefs located in the South Pacific Ocean between Fiji and Samoa.

Although they were discovered by the Dutch and the British in the 17th and 18th centuries, it was the French who were the first Europeans to settle in the territory, with the arrival of French missionaries in 1837, who converted the population to Catholicism. On April 5, 1842, they asked for the protection of France after the rebellion of a part of the local population. On April 5, 1887, the queen of Uvea (on the island of Wallis) signed a treaty officially establishing a French protectorate. The kings of Sigave and Alo on the islands of Futuna and Alofi also signed a treaty establishing French protectorate on February 16, 1888. The islands were put under the authority of the French colony of New Caledonia.

In 1917, the three traditional chiefdoms were annexed to France and turned into the Colony of Wallis and Futuna, still under the authority of the Colony of New Caledonia.

In 1959, the inhabitants of the islands voted to become a French overseas territory, effective in 1961, thus ending their subordination to New Caledonia.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Wallis and Futuna".