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Traditionally, fishing and farming have accounted for the livelihood of a majority of Tongans.Before the arrival of European explorers in the late 17th and early 18th centuries, the Tongans were in frequent contact with their nearest Oceanic neighbors, Fiji and Samoa.In the 19th century, with the arrival of Western traders and missionaries, Tongan culture changed dramatically.Tongans themselves often have to operate in two different contexts, which they often call anga fakatonga, the traditional Tongan way, and anga fakapālangi, the Western way.A culturally adept Tongan learns both sets of rules and when to switch between them.Some old beliefs and habits were thrown away and others adopted.

Tonga has been inhabited for perhaps 32 years, since settlement in late Lapita times.

The culture of its inhabitants has surely changed greatly over this long time period.



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