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Livelihood[ edit ] Traditionally, fishing and farming have accounted for the livelihood of a majority of Tongans.
Cash crops include squash and pumpkinswhich have in recent years replaced bananas and copra as the largest agricultural exports. Vanilla is another important cash crop. A man usually holds the power and is considered the head of his household. However, a man has an obligation to care for his sister and her children.
So in Tongan families ones maternal uncle or Fa'etangata, is considered lower in ranking because of his obligation to take care of the needs of his sister and her children. Contrastly in Tongan families your paternal aunt is the highest-ranking member and is referred to as mehekitanga or Fahu.
Men hold power and women hold rank. In ancient Tonga one would inherit titles, land and people from their mother, after Christianity this was changed to mainly inheriting from ones father. Until recently it was Tapu taboo for any male that has passed puberty to be in the same room with his sister or girl cousins alone.
This was done under the notion of respect or faka'apa'apa. The recent introduction of western ideas and culture has slowly made this taboo vary widely amongst Tongan families.
At one time it was inappropriate for a brother and sister to even watch television together if the characters were to kiss or even flirt on screen. That is mostly laxed in the modern age, but you still have families that will separate the boys and girls when watching TV or movies.
The notion of faka'apa'apa is still strong but the meaning of it is slowly changing especially amongst the youth of the Tongan diaspora.
Other key members of Tongan kinship are the 'Ulumotu'a or the oldest male in ones extended family on your father's side, they are usually called upon to be in charge of funerals and other family events. They do not out rank a Fahu but they have power to direct events.
Also noteworthy is all of your maternal aunts are called your mothers, likewise you paternal uncles are your fathers. Your cousins on either side are called your brothers or sisters.
Similarly if you are female and your sisters children are called your children also because you are a mother to them. Same applies if you are a male and your brothers children will refer to you as a father. Male circumcision[ edit ] In post-contact Tonga, newly pubescent males were kamu tefeor circumcised by cutting one slit in the foreskin, on the underside of the penis.
This is a Christian practice of biblical context.
Afterwards, the family held a feast for the new "man". Circumcision is still practiced, but it is now done informally. Sometimes it is done at home, with relatives present. More commonly a boy, or a group of boys, go to the hospital, where the operation is done under sanitary conditions.
First menstruation Menarche [ edit ] In pre-contact Tonga, a girl's first menstruation was celebrated by a feast.Tongan Culture and History: Papers from the 1st Tongan History Conference, Held in Canberra, January Phyllis Herda, Jennifer Terrell, Niel Gunson Department of Pacific and Southeast Asian History, Research School of Pacific Studies, Australian National University, - Ethnology - .
Tonga as a country has always been very religious and very deep into their culture. In Tonga family is everything, along with religion. Tongan religion is mostly Methodist, Christian or Morman.
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Tonga as a state has ever been really spiritual and really deep into their civilization.
In Tonga household is everything. along with faith. Tongan faith is largely Methodist. Christian or Morman. The male monarch and the bulk of the royal household are members of the Free Wesleyan Church .
Since the last Tu'i Tonga had no official heir, as the head of the other two royal lines, King George became the only king of Tonga. The constitution recognizes only his royal line. In , the British granted Tonga's request for protectorate status. Hence Tongan culture is far from a unified or monolithic affair, and Tongans themselves may differ strongly as to what it is "Tongan" to do, or not do. Contemporary Tongans often have strong ties . Tonga as a state has ever been really spiritual and really deep into their civilization. In Tonga household is everything. along with faith. Tongan faith is largely Methodist. Christian or Morman. The male monarch and the bulk of the royal household are members of the Free Wesleyan Church .
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