Tonga has recently been in the news, as Canadian archaeologist, Professor David Burley, has traced the origins of Polynesian settlement in the Pacific. Professor Burley collected Lapita pottery, fish bones and shells dating back 2,800 years – making it the oldest material in Polynesia. According to Professor Burley,
“What makes Nukeleka so special is that it’s the earliest site in Tonga, and Tonga is certainly the first archipelago to be settled in Polynesia.”
However, the exciting discovery has called to attention some disconcerting news: Tonga has no museum. Indeed, Tonga is one of the few countries in the Pacific without a museum to showcase their heritage, after the previous museum, which was sponsored by the royal family, ran out of funds.
Here’s the link to the short article.
The good news is that a group of business people in Tonga is starting to formulate plans for a heritage program and museum facility.
I’ll keep you posted if and when I hear more development on Tonga’s new natioanl museum.