Washington Island Pacific OceanNorthwest Pacific Ocean
. Isle of Ellice Colony, along with the Fanning and Washington Islands.
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Further special features of the Kiribati line islands
Gilbertesen's recent settlement of the Lineage Islands erodes the notion that Polynesia can be demarcated within a huge delta with vertices in New Zealand, Hawaii and Easter Island (Rapa Nui). Admittedly, the Polynesia has never been perfectly shaped as the west side of the delta has to run to get around Fiji (classified as part of Melanesia) and Tuvalu (formerly Ellice Islands).
Cautious mapmakers also add an expansion to the West to capture a number of small Polish "outliers" such as Rennell and Ontong Java, who are political melanese or Micronese but are themselves clearly Polish in their cultures. Triangular Polynesia has also been affected by mass non-Polynesian migrations to its two major archipelagos, New Zealand and Hawaii, but it is also truely the case that both New Zealand and Hawaii still have important Polish populations.
New Zealand's Polish people are also expanding fast, partly due to migrations from the Cook Islands, Niue and Tokelau. All of the inhabitants of Wellington's dependency have New Zealand nationality and can therefore immigrate to New Zealand without restrictions. In former times also the line islands belonged to the polynese empire.
Though none of these archipelagos had been populated by Polynesians on a permanent basis, many were frequented, especially during the time when a weak link was kept between Tahiti and Hawaii. Several of the Lineage Isles were apparently populated by Polynesians for several generation before they were given up. Today, however, the Lineage Isles are linked in political terms to the Micronese land of Kiribati, and the population of the three populated Isles in the region are almost all Gilbertesen (or I-Kiribati) origin.
For example, the Gilbert tongue is part of the Micronesian familiy and is thus intimately related to the reeds of the Federated States of Micronesia and the Marshall Islands. Due to the Micronese colonization of the line islands, today's Polynesia has only a vague triangle form, as I have indicated in the published one.
One related question regarding the geographic nomenclature of the line islands is the fact that Spain appears to have a possible entitlement to some of these patches of country on the basis of the historic sovereignty of the Kingdom over parts of Micronesia. Following the conquest in the Spanish-American War of 1898, Spain shipped Palau, the Caroline Islands (now mainly the Federated States of Micronesia) and the Northern Mariana Islands to Germany.
However, some Spaniards have been arguing that Spain maintains some of the other" Micronesian" island titles, especially on Christmas Island (Kiritimati), which have not been given to Germany. In 1948 Emilio Pastor Santos, a scholar of the National Research Council of Spain, asserted that there was a historic foundation based on the cards and cards of that period to claim that Kiritimati (or Acea as in the case of the Spaniards maps) and some other isles had never been regarded as part of the Carolines.
Kiritimati was not taken up in the definition of the area moved to Germany and was therefore not affected by Spain's suspension of the transfers, and in theory Spain should have the only court and the right to this isle. At the Spanish Council of Ministers on 12 January 1949, the Foreign Minister stated on this suggestion that he had reached the first level of visibility.
However, no effort has been made by any Spaniard in this regard, and this case is still seen as a historic oddity in connection with Kiritimati. A further remarkable feature of some of the line islands is their uncommon geographical shape.
Teraina or Washington Island, which was populated after the Second World War and now has a population of around 1,700, is a prime example. Though Teraina is a reef altoll, its main Laguna is isolated from the sea and now constitutes a (mostly) fresh water sea and a range of swamps (A similar scenario can be found in the Polynesian outlier of Rennell Island).
Plenty of freshwater is available, as Teraina is situated just northern of the arid zones that comprise most of the line isles. The first moor lies directly at the west end of the sea, the other half way between this and the northwestern tip of the isle. The last comment on these isles, the 1994 International Date Line, was fundamentally adapted to place all of Kiribati on the west side of the line.
Thus, the inhabited Caroline Island (not to be mistaken for the Caroline Islands of the Federated States of Micronesia) is the "easternmost" country on earth in the world. Now Caroline Island is at the same hour as the Standard Times Zone (Hawaiian Islands), but one night ahead.
Caroline Island was thus both the most eastern country in the world' s oldest timezone (according to some definition, the most eastern point on earth) and one of the first landmarks to experience the sun rise on 1 January 2000 at 5:43 a.m., based on vernal orbit. Others Pacific countries, such as Tonga and New Zealand's Chatham Islands, were protesting against this move and complaining that it violates their allegations that it was the first country to experience daybreak in 2000.
Caroline Iceland was formally re-named Millennium Iceland in 1999 to take advantage of the great interest shown by the general population in the festivities commemorating the new year. Though not inhabited, a particular ceremony was celebrated on the islands with appearances by Kiribati entertainment and the Kiribati presidents Tito.
More than 70 Kiribati choristers and dances travelled from the capitol Tarawa to Caroline, attended by about 25 reporters. Micronesia as a whole, unlike Polynesia, does not constitute a clear cultural-linguistic group, since the Palau, Guam and Northern Mariana language groups, which have been placed in the geographical area of Micronesia, do not fall into the Micronesia group.