Tonga, officially the Kingdom of Tonga, is an independent archipelago in the southern Pacific Ocean. It lies about a third of the way between New Zealand and Hawaii, south of Samoa and east of Fiji.

The islands are also known as the Friendly Islands, the name given by Captain Cook because of the friendly reception he received. He happened to arrive at the time of 'inasi festival, the yearly donation of the first fruits to the Tu'i Tonga and was invited to the festivities. According to the writer William Mariner, in reality the chiefs had wanted to kill Cook during the gathering, but had been unable to agree on a plan.

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