Mu'a (Tongatapu)

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Mua is a small city in the Hahake (eastern) district on the island of Tongatapu, and it was for centuries the ancient capital of Tonga. It is divided in the villages Lapaha and Tatakamotonga, is close to Talasiu and famous for the ancient langi (royal burial tombs).


Mua is situated along the eastern side of the lagoon of Tongatapu. Except for a 50 m to 200 m-wide zone along the shore which is low-lying mud (now largely landfilled with stones), the remainder of the village is on high-lying red volcanic soil of high fertility.

Lapaha is also the home of the Tu'itonga Empire.Lapaha is also the first capital of Tonga before the Tu'i Kanokupolu move it to Nukualofa.


According to the 1996 census there were 3900 people living Mua, a number expected to rise to 4900 if confirmed by the November 2006 census.

Most people of Lapaha are Roman Catholic, while Tatakamotonga is largely Wesleyan, although both see an increasing number of Mormons. This has a historical reason: the last Tui Tonga was Roman Catholic and lived in Lapaha.

Tatakamotonga has a government primary school in the northwestern part of the village and a high school run by the Wesleyan church (Tapunisiliva, eastern branch of Tupou high school) in the north-east. Lapaha has a government primary school and a high school run by the Roman Catholic Church (Takuilau) at the eastern end of the village.


Mua was at one time the center of Lapita culture in Tonga (about...
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