Tuvalu - Settlements

Most scholars accept that, prior to Western contact, each island probably had a fairly scattered distribution of subcommunities based on core kin groups. Centralized habitation complexes (one village or two contiguous ones) were established either late last century by the London Missionary Society or early this century by the British administration—or possibly by the combined efforts of both. It appears, for example, that large centralized meetinghouses ( maneapa ) did not exist on the southern islands before the late nineteenth century, despite the fact that these structures have become symbols of traditional culture and Tuvaluan identity.

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