Tonga Needs a Museum

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.


About islandculturearchivalsupport

Island Culture Archival Support (ICAS) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation of records pertaining to the cultural identity of island peoples in Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia whose national and public archives, libraries, cultural centers, and business organizations are underprivileged, underfunded, and understaffed. The specific purpose for which this nonprofit corporation was formed is to support the needs of these South Pacific cultural heritage institutions by helping to preserve and make accessible records created for business, accountability or cultural purposes. The organization will endeavor to add value by providing resources or volunteers to advise, train, and work among island residents to support their efforts in building their future and preserving their collective memory through the use of modern archival techniques.
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