|Photography - Historical|
New Zealand - Vava'u - The S.S. Mapourika at the wharf in Verafu Village, Vava'u. - Circa 1910 - Unknown Photographer - Original Newspaper Clipping, published in The New Zealand Graphic #330703 Vava'u - Vavaʻu is the island group of one large island (ʻUtu Vavaʻu) and 40 smaller ones in Tonga. It is part of Vavaʻu District which includes several other individual islands. - The capital is Neiafu, which is the fifth largest city in Tonga, situated at the Port of Refuge (Puatalefusi or Lolo-ʻa-Halaevalu). - In Polynesia it is explained that the islands were created by the god Maui, who caught the bottom of the sea with his magic hook, fished up and left on the sea surface what became the islands of Vavaʻu. - Don Francisco Mourelle de la Rúa, commanding Spanish frigate Princesa was the first European to come to Vavaʻu, on 4 March 1781. He charted Vavaʻu as Martín de Mayorga who was the Viceroy of New Spain at the time. - Captain James Cook knew about the islands a decade before, but the people in Haʻapai told him it would be no good for him to go there as there was no harbour. Apparently they did not want him to go there, and Cook heeded their advice anyway. - But Mourelle found excellent anchoring, of which he was in desperate need after having failed on Fonualei (Bitterness island) and Late, and he gave the spot the name Port of Refuge. But his original Port of Refuge was the bay on the west coast of the main island, near Longomapu. In 1793 Alessandro Malaspina visited for a month, following up on Mourelle and claiming the islands for Spain. - Tuʻi Tonga George Tupou I instituted the Vavaʻu Code in Vavaʻu in 1839.