Lau group IslandsThe Lau Group Islands
The Lau Group | Islands, Fiji
The 57 islands and small islands, which consist mainly of lime stone, occupy an area of 188 sq. m ('487 sq. km.) and are spread over 44,000 sq. m. ('114,000 sq. km.) of the South Pacific.
Lomaloma's main isle is Vanua Balavu, now a coppra-location. It was Lomaloma that was the basis for the Tongan chieftain Ma?afu in his fruitless application to rule the islands of Fiji in 1855. Lakemba is the second most important of the islands, the site of the first missionaries of Vesleyan in Fiji (1835).
Tubou is the Lau Group's principal town. It is located on Lakeba. Due to the closeness and historic links between the Lau group and Tonga, the peoples and their cultures have more of Polynesia's and Melanesia's features than in the more western groups of Fiji.
They say that on the most southern of the islands Ono-i-Lau you can see Tonga on a clear sunny outing. The closeness to our Pacific neighbor has strongly influenced the group' s culture. With the southeastern the tradewinds, it was easier for the Tongan Wars to get to Fiji, and with them came Tongan speech, eating, decoration as well as arquitecture.
There was less propitious wind to wind them back and the Lau Islands still carry the nicknames and geographical features of their Tongan forefathers.