Prehistoric humans and cave painting on stamps and postmarks of Tonga
, officially the Kingdom of Tonga, is a Polynesian sovereign state and archipelago
comprising 169 islands of which 36 are inhabited.
The total surface area is about 750 square kilometres scattered over 700,000
square kilometres of the southern Pacific Ocean.
It has a population of 103,000 people of whom 70% reside on the main island of Tongatapu.
The country stretches across approximately 800 kilometres in a north-south line.
Tonga - unique among Pacific nations - never completely lost its indigenous governance.
The archipelagos of "The Friendly Islands" were united into a Polynesian kingdom in 1845.
Tonga became a constitutional monarchy in 1875 and a British protectorate in 1900; it withdrew from the
protectorate and joined the Commonwealth of Nations in 1970.
Tonga remains the only monarchy in the Pacific.
The beginnings of the postal history of Tonga can be traced to the Wesleyan missionaries,
who landed in the islands in 1826, and sent regular communications back to London and Sydney
from the day of their arrival.
The Tongan Post Office was established in 1887, but even before then postage stamps featuring the
image of King George Tupou I were produced in New Zealand.
The most northernly island of the Kingdom,
(which means “many new coconuts”) has produced
its own stamps since 1983.
In 1963, Tonga was the first country in the world to issue self-adhesive stamps.
These stamps were round, coin or medal like in form.
Sierra Leone has claimed rights to "first self-adhesive" stamps for years,
perhaps because they were not aware that Tonga beat them by half a year.
Official stamps of Tonga related to Paleoanthropology
|05.09.1996 "XIII Congress of international union of prehistoric and protohistoric sciences"
 "Joint" issue with Niuafo'ou
Joint issue of Tonga 1996 (MiNr.: 1429-1430, Scott: 929a-b) and Niuafo’ou (MiNr.: 303-304, Scott: 190).
Some commemorative postmarks of Tonga to consider: flint/stone tools
Legend is here
|05.09.1996 "XIII Congress of international union of prehistoric and protohistoric sciences" [Sp]
- [R1] Tonga:
- [R2] Postal History and Philately of Tonga:
Links to official website of the Post Authority, stamp catalog and a list of new stamps of Tonga are here
Many thanks to Dr. Peter Voice
from Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences, Western Michigan University,
for the draft page review and his valuable comments.